Permanent resident but not citizen:why?

One of my coworkers has been married to a German man for 30 years. She mentioned that he is not an American citizen. When I asked her why he never decided to become a citizen, she said “he thinks the test is too much trouble to bother with”. Anyone else know (or are yourself) a permanent resident of a country but not bothered to become a citizen? For what reasons?

My Mom was born in Germany and moved to the USA in 1968. She is not a citizen. I think it’s because she’s always wanted to keep open the possibility of moving back to Germany when she retires. Some amount of sentimental reasons might be mixed in there as well.

I expect some young males don’t become citizens in various countries because they don’t want to be drafted.

Mom came to the US from England around 1960 and married my dad, giving her permanent-resident status. She did not become a US citizen until around 1996. The oath of citizenship includes a section wherein the applicant must disavow all allegiance to foreign authority figures; it took my mom that all that time to come to terms with the idea of telling the queen of England to sod off.

My wife came to the US from Japan in 1990, but was not eligible for PR or citizenship until we married in 2005. She obtained permanent resident status a couple of years later (the process took that long), but didn’t go for citizenship until just last year. For some people (this includes my wife), it can be hard to say goodbye to your mother country in such a permanent manner.

I had a boss from Sweden who did not want to renounce his Swedish citizenship because of the Swedish medical care. As far as I know he never did.

I suppose there are various possible reasons.

Not all countries permit dual citizenship, and people may not wish to relinquish their original one. This might be especially true for those who retain connections to family and friends in their old country.

It costs a fair chunk of money to become a USC, and the tangible benefits are not necessarily obvious. I mean yes, you get to vote, but other than that? I suppose you can leave the US for long periods and return without hassle, so if that’s something you might need to do, you would be wise to consider citizenship.

Philosophically, not everyone who lives in the US actually wants to be a citizen. I certainly never did. I felt happy to be in the country as a guest, enjoyed participating in civic life, but there was no point where I felt that I needed to pledge allegiance and sign some piece of paper declaring my loyalty. And for UK citizens like me, the first issue above is not relevant - I would not have had to sacrifice UK citizenship.

Our sister. Lived in Chicago for eleven years, married her American partner, finished her PhD, but never shed her Filipino citizenship. Reason: she wanted to keep voting in the Philippines (what’s wrong with a dual citizenship then?)

Permanent residents still have to register for the draft in the US. Idiotic, but there you go.

Yeah, a lot of illegal aliens from my country came back during the onset of Desert Shield. Ha! Ha!

A good friend of mine - lately deceased - was a Canadian citizen born in England (father was stationed there as a Canadian military officer). He came to the States in the 60’s to go to college and stayed permanently but never took U.S. citizenship. I asked him about it once, said he originally declined to pursue citizenship because it would have made him subject to the draft and the Vietnam experience. After the war was over he wished to visit some places (Cuba and some Eastern European countries) where Americans couldn’t go. AFAIK he never did visit those places, but never felt the need to apply for citizenship anyway.

Another friend was born here, went to Australia to work on an advanced degree, loved it there, renounced his U.S. citizenship and became an Australian. (This was also during the 60’s and I suspect the draft and Vietnam may have figured in his decision as well). Then a family member who was still stateside became ill and he reluctantly moved back to provide long-term care until her death. By that time he had a home and good job here, and couldn’t justify throwing it off to go back to Oz. Having already changed his citizenship once, he didn’t care to go through the process again, so lived out the rest of his life as a resident alien in his country of origin. Kind of an odd situation.

To be specific, male LPRs aged over 18 and under 26 on the day they became a resident must register.

Those who have jumped through all the hoops, paid all the fees (twice if they lose your papers so that you miss a deadline), dealt with all the rude bureaucrats, and suffered all the other minor and not so minor inconveniences and indignities involved in becoming a U.S. permanent resident, may not be anxious to repeat the experience just for the privilege of being able to vote and sit on juries.

My running partner is Irish; she and her husband (who was a British subject) moved to the U.S. about 20 years ago. He became a U.S. citizen; she has chosen to stay with her permanent resident status, primarily because she’s very proud of being Irish, and doesn’t want to give up her citizenship.

I believe Ireland permits dual citizenship. Of course, there are many other reasons not to seek USC status, but she would not have to relinquish her Irish citizenship if she became one.

My mom was born and grew up in Germany and came to the USA more than 40 years ago, and is still a permanent resident. She came close to getting citizenship a few times but something always came up, she wasn’t opposed but didn’t see much reason to either.

Funny story but she had an old style never expire green card, the edges were frayed. Once returning to the USA she was detained by immigration, my sister and my dad had to go to the airport and swear up and down that she had been in the USA for 40 years.:smack: They told her to go get a new card pronto.

When she went to get a new green card, they could find no record of her entry or permanent residency on file. I think my dad and sis had to swear out affidavits or something. Bizarre.

Interesting. I would have to believe she’s looked into it. She has no intention of ever moving back to Ireland, and loves the U.S., but that’s the explanation she’s always given me. :slight_smile:

I’m an Australian permanent resident. I live in California because that’s where my husband lives. I have no desire to become a US citizen. There are many reasons.

The people I personally know in those circumstances all live in the US and take the oath a lot more seriously than Americans do. Where Americans usually say that the bit about “renouncing and abjuring all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty” is “just words”, these people take them in all seriousness and will not take an oath which requires them to either perjure themselves or sever allegiances and fidelities which they do keep.

The Italian branch of my family, with the exception of my great-grandfather (who was blind as a bat anyway), always chose their Italian citizenship over the Spanish one because that way their military service was reduced from “one year of actual military service” to “occasionally presenting themselves at the local consulate”. That point is moot nowadays but since our branch lost contact with the rest (great-gramps was his generation’s black sheep), I don’t know whether my current-generation cousins are Italian or Spaniards. I believe at least one of them went back to Italy and made a name for himself as a chef.

Maybe some people don’t feel that they’d get $595 worth of utility in return.

So you have permanent resident status in two countries, and persumably have citizenship somewhere else?