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Top 10 U.S. Citizenship Questions

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By Christopher Coble, Esq. on November 01, 2018 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Immigration and citizenship issues have become central in the upcoming midterm elections. From child separation and refugee and asylum applications to increased deportation efforts. The essential questions revolve around citizenship: Who may apply, how it may be granted, and even if it can be revoked or lost.

So here are 10 essential questions regarding United States citizenship, and where to turn for answers:

1. What Is 'Birthright Citizenship'?

Birthright citizenship has been in the news recently, after President Trump threatened to end the policy that automatically grants U.S. citizenship to those born in the country or one of its territories. Can he do that? Find out here.

2. Do You Get Citizenship If You Join the Army?

While military service may be a path to citizenship, it might not be your quickest route.

3. Do I Need Proof of Citizenship to Open a Bank Account?

Normally, the answer is no. But some customers are being asked to provide proof of citizenship and getting frozen out of their accounts if they fail to respond.

4. How Does Immigration Status Affect Child Custody?

Courts make custody determinations in the best interest of the child. And while immigration status is not on the very long list of factors for courts to consider, pending deportation or other residency issues could come into play.

It is legal, but discouraged by government officials. So why would you want or need dual citizenship?

6. Can I Vote With a Green Card?

You've probably heard a lot about voter ID laws at the ballot box. Does a green card satisfy those ID requirements? Not for federal elections, and you'll have to check on local and state laws for the rules in those elections.

7. Can a Permanent Resident Be Deported for Accidentally Voting?

And the penalties for legal permanent residents voting in federal elections can seem severe -- last month an Episcopal priest was threatened with deportation proceedings for voting in the 2006 federal midterms.

8. Can You Lose U.S. Citizenship?

You'd like to think that once a citizen, always a citizen. But that isn't always the case. While you can't involuntarily be stripped of your citizenship, you can still lose citizenship should you engage in specific types of behavior.

9. When Is It Too Late to Apply for Citizenship?

Generally speaking? Never. But there are some requirements you'll need to meet first, and some internal filing deadlines that can affect any citizenship application.

10. Do I Need a Lawyer to File for Citizenship?

You might be able to navigate the process on your own, but with such a complicated procedure and with so much on the line, why risk it?

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