In a previous article we discussed the eligibility requirements for naturalization. If you are eligible for naturalization, you may be wondering if you should consider becoming a U.S. citizen.
The following is a list of some of the most compelling reasons to naturalize:
U.S. citizens may vote in all federal elections.
#2 U.S. Passport
U.S. citizens have the right to a U.S. passport. A U.S. passport allows you to travel internationally in many cases without obtaining a visa. It also allows you to get assistance from the U.S. government when overseas.
#3 Bring Your Family To the U.S.
As a U.S. citizen, you can petition for a green card for your spouse, children, parents, married and unmarried sons and daughters over the age of 18, and siblings. Spouses, children, and parents are considered Immediate Relatives – this means that your relatives will experience only a short wait to get their green card. Your married and unmarried sons and daughters above the age of 18, and your siblings may also get a green card, but will have to wait for a visa to become available. Alternatively, permanent residents may only petition for their spouses, children, and unmarried sons and daughters – not parents and siblings. In addition, all available visa petitions to green cardholders involve a waiting period.
#4 Not Be Deported
Although green card holders have permanent immigrant status, in some instances they may still be deported, such as, committing a serious crime. U.S. citizens may not be deported.
#5 Citizenship for Your Children Born Abroad
In most cases, a child born abroad to a U.S. citizen is automatically granted citizenship.
#6 Citizenship for Your Children under 18
Permanent resident children (under the age of 18) who are in the physical custody of their naturalizing parent(s), automatically become U.S. citizens when their parent(s) become naturalized.
#6 Scholarships and Grants
Only U.S. citizens have the right to receive government-issued grants for education. Many scholarships issued by various schools or private institutions also require the student to be a U.S. citizen.
#7 Run for Public Office
Only U.S. citizens can run for public office.
#8 Travel Unlimited
U.S. citizens can travel for an unlimited period of time without losing their citizenship status. Alternatively, if permanent residents remain outside the U.S. for a long period of time, they may lose their green card and be unable to re-enter the U.S.
#9 Government Benefits
Many government benefits are only available to U.S. citizens. For example, U.S. citizens who retire abroad receive full Social Security benefits, while permanent residents have access to only half. In addition, U.S. citizens are eligible for more public benefits, such as, Social Security Income (SSI), welfare and food stamps.
#10 Federal Jobs
Federal jobs are only available to U.S. citizens. Many such jobs offer excellent salaries, benefits, and pensions.
The rights and benefits provided through citizenship have put many individuals on the path to their American dream. That is why becoming a U.S. citizen is so important to so many foreign nationals.
If you are eligible to apply for citizenship, let the experienced immigration attorneys at the Law Offices of Azita M. Mojarad, P.C. assist you with your application process. For further information or to schedule a consultation contact us at (312) 641-0771.