To be or not to be...a US citizen

  1. I'd love your opinions...but first a little background:
    I'm a canadian citizen and a US permanent resident (green card holder). I'm married to a US citizen and have had permanent residency for about 4 years, and have been in the US for 6 years. When I initially went through the immigration process it was the most awful experience of my life....I was initially denied and had to prove my marriage wasn't a fraud and then was accepted (ya...apparently sharing a house, car, loans, insurance, and raising his son weren't enough proof originally). Anyways...it worked out and I got my green card.
    Now....I said I'd never go for US citizenship because the only thing it gives me is the right to vote...and I really couldn't care less. It costs ALOT of money (well over $1000) and I'd have to study US history again (which sucks LOL) for the test. I'm afriad of going through the same thing as last time....immigration process just is horrible and frightening.
    BUT.....a few weeks ago hubby and I were talking and he raised the possibility of going back to Canada when I finish school and getting a job at a university up there. My goal in my career is to get a job at a Tier I research university, so in Canada I am somewhat limited....but the idea of going back home is so nice. I miss Canada!
    Due to my green card if I leave the US for more than 12 months I forfeit my green card and residency...which means we really couldn't ever come back. And I would want that option to remain open (A really good job could open up down here...or we could retire down here, etc.).
    So what do you ladies think....what would you do?
    1. Spend the money and go through the horrors of immigration for the chance that I might go back home one day

    2. Don't go for citizenship and risk the chance of one day heading to Canada and then not being able to come back.

    I should add...the citizenship process is very lengthly...some areas of the US it can take up to 3 years....so I couldn't do this as a last minute thing. Money really isn't an object (but man US citizenship = an LV purse LOL).
    And I can have dual citizenship...so I'm not giving up my country!
    Any advice is appreciated....as well as your own thoughts on what you'd do!
     
  2. That's a tough question...I was born with both German & US citizenships, so I've never had to go through the whole citizenship process, but is sure is nice to have both. When the German govt. pisses me off (like for my DL), I call the US Consulate and they clear it up for me (HOORAY! lol).

    Honestly, I'd say don't go for it :\\
     
  3. Thanks Stella.....any particular reason why you say not to go for it?

    I never thought about that issue of calling one consolute when the other is getting stupid. When I travel I always go into Canada with my CDN passport (makes it nice and easy to get in) and on the way back my green card...which makes it easy to get back into US LOL
     
  4. Seriously, whatever you do....do not give up your green card!!! I know how hard it is to get!! (I have seen many friends go thru the process) I would suggest doing dual citizenship...is that difficult?? :shrugs:
     
  5. Twiggers, are you using a lawyer? An immigration lawyer makes the process much easier, and consulting one with all of your current concerns, especially since there are ways to come back to the U.S. to work on the professional level if you give up your green card.

    I do have to add-that if you become a citizen-VOTE. I don't understand how a person can live in this country & not care what's happening to it. Voting is what makes changes the immigration process. This current administration has made the immigration process such a pain in the butt with so many different caps and regulations. Voting and voicing your opinion is what can make changes that will effect immigration.
     
  6. I got my citizenship at 18 because my mom didn't want to be a US citizen, and for minors to automatically become one, both parents have to be US citizens.

    I don't know how much the process has changed to apply for citizenship but I remember it didn't take us three years. I believe we applied earlier in the year and by summertime I took the test.

    The test isn't that bad, really. My brother actually lucked out coz the guy who interviewed him only went over his paperwork, asked if he could speak English and let him go. The guy was in a hurry for lunch :p . Me however, not so lucky:sad: . I got asked 5 questions, had to write a couple of sentences, and also read something. But again, it wasn't that bad. It was so cool getting sworn in because it happened on the 4th of July.

    Anyways, I'd say go for it. And I agree with the pp, vote! Where I came from, voting wasn't a democratic process so I was happy to be able to vote here.

    My two cents
     
  7. I say go for the citizenship, especially if you can keep your Canandian citizenship as well.

    My fiance is a permanent resident here, but he is beginning the citizenship process. He says that even if he has to denounce his original citizenship to get a US passport, the other government will only ever take it away from him if he commits treason. So he can always get a passport again from his native country, and then he will have both! As lamiastella said, if one authority gets stupid, you can always try the other one. I think this would be the ideal solution for you, because you won't be limited to living in one country or the other.
     
  8. I'm going through the process right now. I have an immigration lawyer, and I go for my first meeting (I guess to prove that we are married for love) in November.

    I really understand where you're coming from because I'm from Canada also, and miss it as well. So I can see where you might just want to forget about citizenship and go on home.

    I think if you have this many questions about possibly retiring or coming back to the states for a better job that you need to keep your options for your future open. I realize what a lenghty and frustrating process it will be, and while going back to Canada would be an exciting thing for right now, you may regret it later when you can't get back into the states. I think that if you are going to do that you need to be 100% sure, otherwise you would have to go through it all over again.

    I hope this helps.:flowers:
     
  9. The solution: have a child in the US!! All children born in the US are automatically US citizens regardless of the status of the parent. ;)
     
  10. I say go for Us citizenship! get a lawyer who will make the process smoother for you! I am actually in process of getting a Canadian citizenship as i still have my Russian citizenship, but if you have an ability to get US citizenship i think you should get it! It's not going to hurt you :smile: That way whatever you decide to do you will be able to do it!! I had no idea they were giving such hard time to canadian citizens, i mean i know they do it to everyone else, but to Canadians?? Good luck to you whatever you decide to do:smile:
     
  11. get it, just so there wont be any regrets in the future
     
  12. My husband and I are going through this right now too. I really hate dealing with USCIS. They're always (with the exeption of 1 occasion) very rude and are not helpful. I would definitely apply for citizenship if not to just get it out of the way. It actually only costs $400 ($330 fee + $70 biometrics) and is not too difficult. My husband hasn't applied yet, but I've been going over the form and the whole process seems to be much less of a hassle than the I-485/I-130 one. Also, I think the waiting period to be approved is getting much shorter. I've talked to two people in the last 2 weeks that got theirs in 3 months-it depends on where you live (you can check the USCIS site for dates, but they're never accurate). Ultimately, it's up to you, but I personally can't wait to be done with everything and be able to come and go as we please. Whatever you decide, good luck!
     
  13. I would say go for the citizenship 100%. I was born in the US and now live in Canada - married to a Canadian w/ 3 Canadian kids. A US citizenship is VERY valuable. As a US cit you can pass it on to your kids. And it also affords you the option to return at any time and not have to worry. I understand the whole US cit = LV bag, :lol: but you can't put a price on future options and possiblilities.

    Also - now that you are married to a US cit, why would there be any probs with you returning to the US to work? Also - it was my understanding (I guess falsely) that once you marry a cit - you automatically pass the citizenship onto your spouse - IF you are living in the US (which is why I cannot pass it onto my husband while we're living here.) Not so? Now THAT sucks. Do you have a Soc Sec #..?

    Anyway - my vote: Go US. I just think you'll regret it if you don't. Good luck.
     
  14. I would go for it! I think it's aways good to keep your options open for the future!
     
  15. Thanks everyone!
    To answer a few questions: I do care about voting...but it's really the only benefit (aside from being able to come and go). and I would definetly vote if I became a citizen.

    As a CDN citizen I am subject to the same rules as all other immigrants...so my husband CANNOT automatically pass citizenship on to me.

    Also...in CA it takes years to be a citizen...maybe it isn't so bad in Indiana!
    Thanks for the update regarding price! It took me like 2 years just for the green card...out of the San Francisco office...which is quicker than places like LA.

    I probably wouldn't hire an attorney...I did the green card thing myself...and even filed all my appeals on my own (I spoke to several immigration attorneys and they all recommended doing it myself since I'm Canadian and wasn't filing on asylum grounds, etc.).

    I think I will definetly check into it....maybe become more informed about the process. I do know that my appropriate waiting time has passed (I think it was 2 years after receiving green card that I could apply). Maybe it won't be so bad!!!!!!!!!!!! And I can read/write/speak English fluently...and I know a little US history from some college classes (guess I need to crack open those books again LOL).

    I don't have to give up my CDN citizenship...which is definetly a bonus!

    Oh ...and as for children....we're never having any!

    Well...you ladies definetly helped! I'm going to talk it over with the hubby this weekend...and maybe start the process sooner.