If you are one of many immigrants in Pennsylvania who hope to one day obtain full citizenship, there are several factors you'll want to consider and steps to take along the way that can help you achieve your goals. To become a U.S. citizen, you must first prove that you are eligible. If you do not have a green card, you are not eligible, so obtaining one would be the first logical step to take to work toward your goal.
Becoming a U.S. citizen is a main goal of many Pennsylvania immigrants. No two life stories are exactly the same, and different people encounter various types of challenges as they navigate the citizenship process. For some, a language barrier poses great difficulty, causing them to worry that they will not be able to pass their citizenship test.
Many immigrants arrive in Pennsylvania from other countries of origin after securing fiancee visas under the intentions of marrying U.S. citizens. This is a perfectly acceptable and legal means for obtaining legal residency in the United States. As with most immigration processes, however, there is always a chance that someone will attempt to corrupt the system or take advantage of an unsuspecting immigrant by offering to expedite a citizenship application or otherwise committing fraudulent acts.
The reasons people leave their countries of origin to come to the United States are many. Some are business-minded individuals who have dreams of investing in the American economy. Others are fleeing areas wrought with poverty, violence and danger. No matter what prompts people to start new lives in Pennsylvania or another state, many immigrants dream of finalizing their stays by going through the citizenship process.
A military enlistment contract for at least 1,000 immigrant service members, perhaps including some in Pennsylvania, promised to expedite their paths to citizenship. It seems each person participating in this particular recruitment program possessed much-needed medical and/or language skills and was told he or she would be placed on a fast track to become a U.S. citizen in exchange for military service. Word has it, however, the agreement may be canceled by the Pentagon.
The issue of birthright citizenship may be a familiar topic to Pennsylvania voters as political candidates discuss their perspectives on immigration. One of the most extreme solutions is promoted by Donald Trump, who suggests that he would like to end birthright citizenship so that undocumented parents would no longer be motivated to have children in the United States. However, this issue is not a new concern. In fact, the matter was settled by the Supreme Court in 1898.
When a child under the age of 18 comes to the United States, he or she may automatically become a United States citizen when both parents become citizens. However, for those who were 18 prior to February 2001, they may become citizens if their only naturalized parent was their mother or their other parent was deceased. In the event that a child's parents got divorced, a child could be automatically naturalized if the parent with legal custody becomes naturalized.
Pennsylvania immigrant fathers may be interested to learn about a decision in a recent case by a federal appeals court. The court ruled that the existing way that fathers and mothers have been treated differently in determining whether their children can claim citizenship rights is unconstitutional.
Pennsylvania immigrants who came from American Samoa may be disappointed with a recent federal appeals court decision. The judge ruled that individuals from American Samoa are not guaranteed United States citizenship simply because of their birth in that territory.
Immigrants who are living in Pennsylvania and who would like to become naturalized American citizens while retaining citizenship in their home countries should carefully consider the advantages and disadvantages of dual citizenship. One of those disadvantages is the possibility of double taxation. The United States taxes its citizens on their worldwide income, but it does have tax treaties with some countries that provide some relief from this issue.