What is the difference between Permanent Resident Status versus Citizenship?

Permanent resident status is not the same as U.S. citizenship. While permanent residents are able to live and work in the United States, they remain citizens of their home nation. As such, permanent residents cannot obtain U.S. passports, cannot vote in U.S. elections, and are not allowed to run for U.S. elected office.

U.S. citizens may be able to more easily bring into the United States family members who are foreign nationals. Citizens also have more access to federal jobs as well as federal assistance and benefits—including Social Security and Medicare. To become a citizen of the United States, a permanent resident must file for citizenship through USCIS.

EB-5 investors may apply for citizenship after maintaining their permanent resident status for five years. This five-year period starts when an EB-5 investor is granted conditional permanent resident status.

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