If I’m an RMI citizen living in the US, is it possible to become a US citizen?

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If I’m an RMI citizen living in the US, is it possible to become a US citizen?

I am an RMI citizen, under free compact association legislation. I am able to live, study, work in the USA. Why can I become US citizens?

Asked on September 30, 2011 under Immigration Law, Kansas

Answers:

SB, Member, California / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

FSM and RMI citizens admitted to the United States under the Compacts may reside, work and study in the United States, but they are not “lawful permanent residents” (also known as “green card holders”) under the Immigration and Nationality Act. They are not precluded, however, from becoming lawful permanent residents if otherwise eligible under the immigration laws, either through the immigrant visa process or by adjustment of status within the United States. A person must be granted lawful permanent resident status in the United States if he or she eventually wishes to apply for naturalization as a U. S. citizen.You can become a US citizen EVENTUALLY, assuming you first become a lawful permanent resident of the United States through the normal process for so doing (either on the basis of an employment-based petition or through a family-based petition).  Once you are a permanent resident of the US for the requisite period of time, you will be eligible for naturalization to US citizenship.  Until such time, you are eligible to reside, work, study in the US pursuant to the Compact but that permission does not equal being a lawful permanent resident or citizen of the United States.


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