LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Many residents who received the stimulus check asked 8 News Now if receiving the check could hurt them in their journey to become a US citizen. We spoke to an immigration attorney about becoming a citizen and guidelines that should be followed.
“I’ve seen an increase from people wanting to go from legal permanent residents to citizenship, which is excellent,” revealed immigration attorney Enedina Kassamanian.
When it comes to immigration, Kassamanian said there are plenty of changes on the horizon. A decision could soon come from the supreme court regarding DACA-offered action for childhood arrivals.
“We are also seeing changes in immigration law, such as the public law rule where people seeking to get legal permanent resident status are now going to be, should now be concerned with whether they accepted any public benefits.”
So far, residents with a green card who have a social security number received a stimulus check, along with US citizens.
While there is a possibility that another check will come out, accepting it will not affect applying for citizenship.
“Stimulus check is not a means tested benefit, and therefore is not considered a public benefit,” explained Kassamanian. “It wasn’t based on the federal public poverty line; it was not a public benefit. It’s a stimulus based on your previously filed taxes.”
But if you are wanting to become a US citizen, one thing to keep in mind is not having criminal issues.
“You want to do whatever you can, whatever is in line with your beliefs. But you also want to keep in mind, in consideration, that anything that could potentially happen that could be criminal or involvement with law enforcement is going to possibility have an effect on your application.”
Kassamanian said one thing to keep in mind is the stimulus check is based on your filed taxes, whereas welfare is a defined public means benefit.