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The top 5 reasons you should NOT consider US citizenship
August 11, 2014
In my last blog post, I gave the top 5 reasons that you should file for US citizenship. In case you missed it, you can view that blog post here.
This week, I’m going to discuss reasons why you should not file for US citizenship. US citizenship is a great thing, but it isn’t for everyone. Here are 5 reasons that you should not file for US citizenship if you are a green card holder:
1. You lose citizenship of your home country
There are some countries that allow dual citizenship, where you can maintain citizenship of your home country and be a US citizen at the same time. But there are many other countries that do not allow you to maintain citizenship if you become a US citizen. For this reason, there are many people who choose to live in the US with their green cards indefinitely.
2. You can lose ownership of property in your home country
Many countries only allow its own citizens to own property in their country. Due to the reason given in #1 above, many people do not become US citizens because they own homes and other properties in their home country and want to maintain ownership of these properties.
3. You want to maintain your home country’s passport
As I mentioned in my previous blog post, becoming a US citizen and traveling with a US passport can ease your travel to other countries in a lot of ways. However, if you do not feel strongly about becoming a US citizen and frequently travel back to your home country, it may make sense to only have your green card and keep your home country’s passport. (But be careful, as I mentioned in my previous blog post, frequent and long trips outside of the US can impact your ability to keep your green card. Contact me if you have questions about this).
4. You cannot read or understand basic English
One of the requirements of becoming a US citizen is being able to read and understand basic English. There are exceptions and exemptions available that I or another immigration attorney can help you with, but in general, most applicants need to meet this requirement in order to become a US citizen. If you need help with this requirement, you can call my office and I can provide you with referrals and resources that may assist you.
5. You have a problem fulfilling “good moral character”
Having “good moral character” is a requirement for becoming a US citizen. What is “good moral character?” Well, oddly enough, the government does not give us a definition! However, it has issued rulings and statements that define what it isn’t. For example, committing certain crimes within the past 5 years of your citizenship application will mean that you cannot meet this requirement. Even noncriminal actions, like refusing to pay child support, can impact your ability to have “good moral character.” If you have questions about whether you can meet this requirement, you should call me or another immigration attorney about your situation.
As alwasy, If you have any questions about this or need help renewing your green card, call me to set up a consultation.