President Donald Trump has used his executive authority to issue a travel ban on a few majority-Muslim countries. The executive order targets countries that were identified by the Obama administration as “countries of concern.” This decision has affected nonimmigrant visa holders and also some green card holders. Many are now stranded abroad, unable to travel back to the U.S. No one is sure of what the President might sign in the near future. This is one reason why green card holders are advised to go for citizenship if they are eligible.
Many applying for citizenship now say that the reasons for applying to become U.S. citizens are to vote in elections, to travel easily within and abroad and to enjoy all rights that are meant only to Americans. With many new policies popping up every day, it is wise to become a U.S. citizen as U.S. citizens will not be deported and they will not be affected by changes in immigration laws. Though green card status is permanent, changes to immigration laws are likely to affect green card holders.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) statistics show that there are around nine million legal permanent residents in the U.S. who are currently eligible for U.S. citizenship. USCIS always encourages eligible immigrants to apply for U.S. citizenship. The agency promotes citizenship by conducting awareness campaigns and launching promotional materials.
Legal residents can apply for naturalization if they have had their green cards for five years and if they meet all the citizenship requirements. The wait time to apply for citizenship for those who got their green card based on their marriage to a U.S. citizen is even less. They can apply for naturalization in just 3 years from the date of becoming a green card holder.
However, they cannot just apply for citizenship and get their naturalization certificates immediately. The naturalization process is quite a tedious one. It involves few steps that include tests, biometrics submission and the interview process.