There are many benefits to becoming a United States citizen. Listed below are ten very important reasons every lawful permanent resident should consider right now.
1. The right to vote.
Only United States citizens at least 18 years old may vote in all federal elections. Becoming a U.S. citizen and exercising your right to vote will let your voice be heard!
2. No Deportation.
Lawful permanent residents (green card holders) have permanent immigrant status; however, they may still be removed from the United States for numerous reasons such as committing a serious crime. Also, certain actions such as voting in a federal election will prevent you from becoming a United States citizen.
3. It less expensive in the long run.
It is much cheaper in the long run to become a United States citizen than it is to remain a lawful permanent resident. The Department of Homeland Security’s current filing fee to renew a green card is $540 and that cost will continue to rise as time progresses. However, the current filing fee to apply for naturalization is $725. If you become a United States citizen you never have to renew your green card again, which can save you a lot of money!
4. You can bring your family to the United States.
Only U.S. citizens may petition for their parents, siblings, and also married adult children to enter into the United States. Furthermore, the petition will not only benefit the U.S. citizen’s siblings and married children, but also their spouse and children less than 21 years of age. However, lawful permanent residents (green card holders) may only petition for their spouse and unmarried children. If their child gets married before the parent becomes a United States citizen, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services will revoke the child’s petition. Finally, the wait time for U.S. citizens petitioning family members tends to be much shorter than the wait time for green card holders petitioning for family members to enter the United States. Spouses, children under 21 years, and parents of U.S. citizens are called immediate relatives, which briefly means that they receive priority and have shorter processing times. An experienced immigration attorney can help you file your application for citizenship so that you can bring your family members to the U.S. faster.
5. You earn the right to hold a United States passport.
Having a U.S. passport allows you to visit 160 countries without needing a visa. Not only will this save you time and money when travelling internationally, you will also be able to re-enter the United States without restrictions. As an added benefit, U.S. passport holders receive assistance from U.S. Embassies and Consulates when traveling outside of the United States whereas green card holders will not be given the same priority as a U.S. citizen.
6. You earn the right to travel outside of the U.S. for long periods of time.
Many times immigrants wish to take long trips back to their home country to visit loved ones. However, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security may deem a green card holder to have “abandoned” their permanent residence in the United States, if the individual is out of the United States for more than six consecutive months. This is a stressful situation to deal with upon returning to the United States, and the permanent resident must now prove to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officer that they did never intended to abandon their residence in the United States. If you are a U.S. citizen, you may stay out of the country as long as you wish with no legal ramifications.
7. You earn the right to obtain other federal benefits.
Green card holders are ineligible to apply for many federal jobs, federal grants and scholarships and other government benefits. As a U.S. citizen you are eligible to apply for all federal benefits, including jobs at federal agencies.
8. You will enjoy more convenient re-entry into the U.S.
No more standing in the long custom line when returning to the U.S. from an international trip. As a U.S. citizen you will have faster and easier re-entry into the United States. You will also have easier entry and exit into other foreign countries as well if you hold U.S. citizenship.
9. You can run for public office.
Frustrated with the political aspirations of the current office holders in your local, state or federal government? As a U.S. citizen you earn the right to run for public office and work to change local and federal laws to help make our country a better place to live.
10. No more dealing with U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
As a green card holder, encountering the different agencies within the Department of Homeland Security such as U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) can be overwhelming and frightening. As a U.S. citizen, you will no longer need to worry about losing your right to live and work in the United States. You will have the peace of mind knowing that as a U.S. citizen you have a legal right to remain in the United States as long as you wish.
There are several requirements that lawful permanent residents must meet in order to apply for naturalization. An experienced immigration attorney can assist you through the process by ensuring the supporting documentation is complete and submitted properly.
You can experience our dedication and professionalism by calling and scheduling a consultation with us at 602-795-8383.