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THE BENEFITS OF U.S. CITIZENSHIP

THE LAW AND YOU

WRITTEN BY: Narisara P. Jongjarearn -Tasanont, Attorney at Law

The Thai American Citizens Alliance is a phenomenal organization founded by my parents Chumnarn and Rusmee Jongjarearn in 1995 to help people of all nationalities become naturalized citizens.  Back then, we also prepared the location for the off-site interviews so that the immigration offers could interview our clients at a site designated by us, but pre-approved by USCIS, which made our clients feel more comfortable as opposed to being interviewed at the immigration building.   It is an organization that I adore and am proud to be a part of.

Currently, there are no more off-site interviews as times have changed and there is now a greater need for security.  But all applicants who use our service can still feel comfortable in knowing that we will always be here to address all your concerns as they are related to naturalization.  As the succeeding Executive Director, I am responsible for outreach and attending immigration meetings with immigration personnel on a monthly basis. The meetings with the immigration are considered a privilege because I can always be sure that I am getting the most up to date information.   As an attorney, I help review applications and provide consultation to the people interested in becoming a U.S. citizen.  Our fees are very affordable because we want to be able to help as many people as possible, which was one of the main goals that my parents had in forming this organization.

It truly is a privilege to be a citizen of this great country and to help uphold the values for which it stands for.  There is no other nation in the world like the United States of America.  Here, we have citizens that come from all over the world.  Our goal has always been to help people of all nationalities become a U.S. citizen and to provide materials to every applicant to help them make his or her dream come true.

I believe that more people should become aware of the benefits that are gained by becoming a U.S. citizen.  First of all, if you live in the United States, you might as well live as a person with voting rights.  Otherwise, you have no right to choose who you want to represent you in the Congress or in the White House.  These elected officials can affect all our lives.  Wouldn’t you agree?

Another good reason is that you can protect yourself from being deported.  As a green card holder, you are subjected to deportation if you commit a deportable offense.  But commit that same offense as a U.S. citizen and you still have the right to continue living here, in most cases.

Also, if you plan on living in Thailand or some other country after retirement, then becoming a U.S. citizen will mean that you can live in Thailand while protecting your right to re-enter the U.S. as many times as you please.  As a green card holder, staying abroad for as little as 6 months could mean revocation of your green card.  And the next time you want to enter the U.S. you’ll have to get a visa.  And that costs money and may or may not be granted, especially now under the Trump administration.  In addition, if you have worked more than 40 quarters here in the U.S., the government will send you your social security money, if you decide to live abroad after retirement.

However, if you decide to retire here and your social security income is on the low side, you can apply and may qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and you’ll have medical benefits too.  As we get older, the chances of us needing medical help or even surgery becomes greater and living here as a U.S. citizen means that you will have coverage for prescription drugs and medical treatment.  Being merely a green card holder, you will not be entitled to SSI.

Living here after retirement is a good option for people will little income because you can get that extra income needed through SSI and there is help with low income housing too, if you are a U.S. citizen.  But most importantly, there will be coverage for medical treatment.  And as for SSI, the U.S. government won’t send that to you if you are not living in the United States.  You only get what you contributed into the system while you were working.  So if you do not have a lot of money and you are eligible for citizenship, living in this country is your best option.

Another great benefit is applying for legal permanent residence for your family members.  As a U.S. citizen, you can apply for a green card for your brothers, sisters, parents, and children.  As a green card holder, your rights are severely limited.  While green card holders may petition for a child under 21 or an adult child over 21 who is single, a green card holder cannot apply for a green card for parents or siblings.

Believe me, there are many more benefits of becoming a U.S. citizen.  Do not wait any longer.  Apply for U.S. citizenship today!!!  And now the immigration is accepting payments by credit card.  That’s added convenience for you.  If you have low income we may be able to help you get your application submitted without a fee!  Yes, for free.  Just call us to make an appointment.

You can count on us to be here for you through the entire process.  That means whenever you have a question or a concern, you can call us.  Additionally, your application we be reviewed for accuracy by an attorney and will be submitted by an attorney as well.  Our service is reliable and you will be glad you came to us for help in this area.  We also offer a CD in the Thai and English language to help you will the history and civics exam.

Anyone who wants to become a U.S. citizen should call me for more information.  We accept applicants in our office in by appointment only.   Call us at 323-664-7131 for all the details.

Narisara P. Jongjarearn-Tasanont works out of her law office in Los Angeles. She is also the Executive Director of the Thai American Citizens Alliance.  She is an active member of the State Bar of California and the American Immigration Lawyer’s Association.  You can make an appointment by calling for a consultation to discuss your legal concerns.  Currently she is practicing family, immigration and estate planning law. The contents of this article are not intended as individualized legal advice.

 

 

 

 

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