Immigration Attorneys Serving Clients Nationwide

Is “residency” the same as “citizenship?”

On Behalf of | Jan 24, 2022 | immigration |

If you’ve been trying to secure residency in the U.S., you may be wondering if achieving that status would mean that you’re a citizen as well. The terms “residency” and “citizenship” are often used interchangeably, but there is a big distinction between the two.

What is the meaning of residency?

Residency is a status that’s granted to someone who is not a U.S. citizen, but who has been legally admitted into the country and meets certain other requirements. To be considered a U.S. resident under immigration and naturalization laws, you must have a green card, which is proof that you have received lawful permanent residency.

What are the benefits of residency?

There are many benefits to having U.S. residency status, including being able to work in the country without restriction. it also enables you to travel freely throughout the United States and its territories, and access government services and programs.

What is the meaning of citizenship?

Citizenship is a status that’s granted to someone who is a national of the United States, has been lawfully admitted into the country, and meets other requirements. Unlike residency, citizenship conveys full rights and privileges of being an American citizen, including voting, running for office, and holding a U.S. passport.

How do I become a U.S. citizen?

There are several ways to become a U.S. citizen, including naturalization and derivation of citizenship. The most common way is through naturalization, which is the process of becoming a U.S. citizen after receiving residency status. To become eligible for naturalization, you must have been a lawful permanent resident for at least five years, have good moral character, and be able to pass a naturalization test.

People looking to secure residency in the U.S. should be aware of the distinction between residency and citizenship and the several ways to become a U.S. citizen. Familiarizing yourself with the immigration and naturalization laws can help you better understand your options and the processes involved.