In the United States there are four categories that people fall into based on their citizenship status. These are:

  1. U.S. Citizens
  2. Residents
  3. Non-Immigrants
  4. and Undocumented Individuals.

Citizens

Citizens includes those who were born in the United States and those who have become naturalized after establishing themselves as permanent residents and applying for citizenship once they have met the necessary requirements for citizenship.

Residents

Legal permanent residents (also know as LPRs) are individuals who have obtained a “green card”. A green card allows the holder, the LPR, to live and work in the United State on a permanent basis. There are a number of ways in which you can become an LPR; however, most individuals are sponsored by a family member or an employer who is a citizen of the United States.

Non-Immigrants

Individuals who qualify as non-immigrants are in the United States legally but are typically only here for a limited time or basis. Common examples of non-immigrants include students, business visitors, and tourists. Typically, these people do not intend to relocate to the United States.

Undocumented Individuals

Undocumented individuals are those who are in the United States illegally. There are two ways one can have his or her status established as undocumented: (1) violating a legal temporary visa; or (2) entering the United States without going through a port of entry with the proper legal documents.

Because these people do not have permission to work or live in the United States, they have no access to benefits typically available to the public such as health care or a driver’s license.  People who are undocumented run the risk of being deported at any time.

Contact us at (580) 234-6600 to discuss immigration and citizenship.

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