Green Card vs. U.S. Citizenship: The Oath of Allegiance and recent politics make the choice harder for some permanent residents


The green card is enough for Kirsten Olson even though she has lived in the United States of America for more than 30 years and can apply for the U.S. citizenship at any given moment.

Olson, a native of Germany, came to the United States as an exchange student in 1990. Pleased with the American university system, she decided to pursue her graduate studies, find a job afterwards and become a green card holder.

Olson managed to build a really good life, loves the country and the American people, yet remains a legal permanent resident.

During her three decades in the U.S., Olson has had moments when she came close to applying for the citizenship. However, the wording of the Oath of Allegiance that asks an applicant to “renounce and abjure any allegiance and fidelity” to their country of origin, held Olson back. All applicants have to take the Oath as part of the process of becoming a U.S. citizen.

Germany does not allow dual citizenship and Olson’s ties to her homecountry are still very strong. She is not ready to give up her German citizenship.

Recently Olson’s hesitation has doubled. The American political environment does not make it easier for people on the edge like Olson. Although she doesn’t exclude the possibility of becoming a naturalized citizen one day, still she doesn’t see it happening in the near future.

Kerstin Olson, who does not consider herself to be an immigrant of the United States, says that her decision to stay in America “is probably the best decision” she has made in her life.

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April 12, 2021

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