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What is the difference between permanent residency and citizenship?

From the first day you become an EB-5 Green Card holder, you have most of the rights and obligations of U.S. citizens, except that you cannot vote and hold certain public offices. You may live anywhere in the U.S. permanently and get access to the U.S. Social Security system. Holding a Green Card allows your children to take advantage of educational opportunities in the U.S., potentially qualifying for lower in-state tuition at public universities and favorable admissions processes. As an EB-5 green card holder, you have the liberty to be employed by any company or to start your own business without needing additional work permits or sponsorships. You may travel abroad but need to keep in mind that extended absences for over 6 months may raise questions about your immigration intention.

One of the most important rights Legal Permanent Residents (LPR) possess is the right to apply for U.S. Citizenship after residing in the United States for five (5) years, including the 2 years of your Conditional Permanent Residency (CPR). To apply for citizenship, you must maintain a physical presence for a minimum of 30 months during the 5 years preceding your application for naturalization.

Applying for U.S. citizenship, while not mandatory for Legal Permanent Residents (LPRs), offers considerable advantages. Key among these is that citizenship allows for a broader scope of family reunification, enabling U.S. citizens to petition for immigration of extended family members like parents, siblings, and married adult children, which is a privilege not extended to LPRs. Once you become a U.S. citizen, you can live abroad without fear of losing your U.S. citizenship. Your children, even if born abroad, will be considered U.S. citizens. You will also have the right to vote, hold public office and work for the U.S. federal government.