Compared to the security offered by United States citizenship, lawful permanent resident status has several vulnerabilities. While lawful permanent residency provides many benefits, U.S. citizenship offers the most rights and security. Below I discuss some of the differences:
Lawful Permanent Residence
A lawful permanent resident has the right to live and work in the U.S.; to travel and return; and to petition for certain close family members (not including their parents) to eventually obtain lawful permanent residency.
However, these rights are not without limits: Lawful Permanent Residents cannot vote in U.S. elections; they cannot remain outside the U.S. for an unlimited time or make their home elsewhere – doing so may result in loss of their residency and refusal of their request to reenter the United States; they can also lose their permanent resident status and be deported for failing to advise U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) of changes in their address, committing certain crimes or acts of espionage or terrorism, and more.
U.S. Citizens enjoy full rights and protections under the United States Constitution. They have a permanent right to live and work in the United States; they may possess a U.S. Passport; they have the ability to travel and live abroad indefinitely; they may not be deported from the United States and are able to easily re-enter the United States; they can vote and participate in the U.S. electoral process; they are eligible for government-related jobs restricted to citizens only; they are eligible for public benefits (such as social security and Medicare) from which non-citizens may be excluded; they may receive Social Security benefits worldwide without concern over reciprocity agreements; they are entitled to substantial deductions on U.S. estate tax; they have no address change or other USCIS reporting requirements.
It may be important for you to explore your eligibility to become a U.S. Citizen with an experienced immigration attorney.