You can live in America without US citizenship status. You can get here multiple ways, and several statuses let you live here legally. However, living in the US without citizenship presents particular challenges or perhaps even fears.

We’ll talk about that now. Living in the US when you’re not a citizen might cause some stress that the average American citizen does not consider.

How Can You Live in the US Without Citizenship?

If you’ve got a green card, you can legally live in the US, though you’re not yet a citizen. You can get a green card if you’re a longtime resident. You can get one if you win a diversity lottery. You can get what the court system calls a humanitarian green card. You may also get an employment-based green card or a family-based green.

You might also legally live in the US without a green card. For instance, you might get a U visa. The court system gives foreign nationals who have helped the police solve crimes U visa status.

If you’ve lived in the US for some time, and you have a green card or another status that lets you pursue citizenship, you might start looking into it. The courts may eventually grant your request, though various reasons might deny you US citizenship as well.

Why Might the US Turn Down Your Citizenship Application?

The American court system might turn down your US citizenship request because they don’t feel you have good moral character. They might turn you down because you do not understand the English language well enough. You must speak, read, and write English well for consideration.

They might turn you down because you have not spent enough continuous time here. They may also turn you down because they believe you don’t have enough American civil knowledge.

How Does Living in the US with No Citizenship Status Impact Your Mindset?

Let’s say for a moment that you reside in the US and have a green card or some other temporary status allowing your residency. You might attempt the US citizenship pathway eventually, but you can’t do that yet.

What is US residency like without citizenship? Some residents describe feeling slightly nervous when facing many everyday situations.

For instance, you might have a valid driver’s license, but every time you drive, you fear police attention. You know that if you make a mistake, like running a red light or going too fast in a school zone, the cops will request your driver’s license, and they’ll learn you’re not a US citizen.

Probably, this won’t present any serious problems. You can pay a ticket and continue living as you did before. You might fear more significant issues, though. If the court system feels you did anything egregious, they can always take your legal US resident status and deport you.

You Must Tread Carefully

Many who live in the US without citizenship status feel they belong to some “other” category. They live here and enjoy many rights and privileges, but not all of them. Consequently, they live their lives with exaggerated care.

You should never break the law or do anything wrong anyway, but many individuals living in the US without citizenship status feel like they must walk on eggshells at all times. They know if the police catch them smoking a joint in a state with no legal recreational marijuana legislation on the books, they might face deportation.

These seemingly innocuous crimes can wreck someone’s life who lives in the US but isn’t yet a citizen. It’s a significant consideration every day for these individuals.

You Might Become a Citizen Eventually

If you have a clear US citizenship path, you might walk the straight and narrow till you can officially apply and take the test. If you pass it, you’ll become a US citizen, and you may feel like you truly belong for the first time.

Till then, you must follow the law much closer than the average citizen. That means never so much as jaywalking or littering. You never know if a small, seemingly harmless offense might change your life’s course, and not for the better.

In time, you might get the citizenship status you want, and you should feel proud. You can now enjoy rights and freedoms that temporary residents do not. You may even enjoy citizenship more than someone born in this country who never fought for it and takes it for granted.