Those living in Arizona or any other state as a permanent resident may not have thought much about becoming a full citizen. However, as a result of recent immigration policies, the number of applications for naturalization is on the rise. In Minnesota alone, there has been an increase of 88 percent since 2016. To apply for citizenship, an individual needs to wait two years, pass a test and take part in a naturalization ceremony.
In most cases, individuals who have a green card are eligible to apply for citizenship within three to five years. Once it is granted, an individual has the same rights as those who were born in the country. This means that he or she will have the right to vote, get a passport and remain in the country. Those who apply for citizenship also have the right to leave the United States and return at their leisure.
While a legal permanent resident generally has more rights than those in the country on a temporary visa, they could still be deported. In some cases, they may not be allowed back into the United States after leaving. Therefore, it may be in a person's best interest to become a citizen if he or she is looking to remain in America for the next several years or decades.
An immigration attorney may help guide a person through the process of becoming naturalized. An attorney may also be of assistance to those who might be a candidate for deportation before they are able to become naturalized citizens. For example, if a person is in danger of being deported or losing the opportunity of becoming a citizen because of a conviction, the attorney may review a matter and work with immigration authorities to reach a positive resolution.