During the first two weeks of his presidency, Donald Trump issued numerous Executive Orders concerning travel and immigration to the United States. Several state attorneys general responded by successfully challenging some of President Trump's executive actions in federal court. As a result, certain immigration restrictions put in place by the Trump Administration have been reversed. This includes the 90-day ban on entry for all nationals from seven predominantly Muslim nations: Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. Because the situation remains fluid, however, it is advisable to closely monitor ongoing developments on immigration law and policy.
While it appears that individuals from the seven aforementioned countries no longer face a travel ban or other immigration restrictions specific to them while the court case is pending, nationals of those countries who hold U.S. lawful permanent residency ("green card" status) and who are eligible to apply for citizenship are advised to consider applying at this time. Generally, individuals who have obtained U.S. Permanent Residence status via a relative are eligible to apply for citizenship after 3 years, and those who have obtained U.S. Permanent Residence via employment sponsorship are eligible after 5 years. Indeed, during these uncertain times, any person in lawful permanent resident status eligible to naturalize is encouraged to consider the benefits of becoming a U.S. citizen.
Here are some of the important benefits of U.S. citizenship:
--Unlike lawful permanent residents, U.S. citizens cannot be denied entry to the U.S. or removed (deported) from the U.S.
--With U.S. citizenship comes the right to vote at the local, state, and national level for political candidates. Naturalized citizens also are eligible to run for most elected offices.
--The U.S. government gives citizens higher priority than lawful permanent residents when it comes to petitioning for family members to come permanently to the U.S.
--U.S. citizens are eligible to apply for and travel on U.S. passports.
At Grzeca Law Group, we understand that developments in immigration law and policy often dramatically affect our clients and the immigrant community as a whole. We remain up-to-date with any changes, and can provide thorough and educated advice. If you or someone you know is considering becoming a naturalized U.S. citizen or has other immigration questions, please call our office at (414) 342-3000 and make an appointment to speak with one of our attorneys.