The immigration laws in the United States are enormously complicated. This is especially true because the laws seem to always be changing with the ever-evolving political climate. In fact, a new policy has been implemented that might make it harder for green card holders to become citizens.
A look at the new policy
The new policy focuses on residency requirements and whether green card holders are fraudulently claiming that they’ve met those requirements. Under the law, lawful permanent residents have to maintain continuous, uninterrupted residency for at least five years before applying for citizenship. That time limit is shortened to three years for those who received a green card through marriage.
New policies, though, indicate that residency is presumed to have been broken if a green card holder or lawful permanent resident leaves the country for six months to a year. This means that it is then on the lawful permanent resident to prove that they didn’t break continuous, uninterrupted residency. If the individual fails to meet that burden, then removal proceedings can be initiated against him or her.
Changes to the green card process
It might even be more challenging to get a green card nowadays. A lot of language has changed in the application process, including shifting focus more toward public safety rather than family integrity. This could have implications for those who seek a green card.
All of these changes can be nerve-wracking to those trying to navigate the immigration process. As bleak as these changes can be, there are things that you can do to best position yourself for a successful outcome. If you’re facing challenges with a green card or citizenship application, then you might want to consider discussing your situation with an attorney who is well versed in this area of the law.