28 Apr Advantages of Becoming a Naturalized Citizen in America
Just last week, Former President George W. Bush led a naturalization ceremony live on the TODAY show in New York City. Thirty immigrants from 17 countries were sworn in under oath and are now living as U.S. citizens. These citizens were granted permanent residency under the Immigration and Nationality Act.
There are several reasons why one might want to become a citizen of the U.S. versus remaining a permanent resident. For some, it may be to build a successful career, while others want to create a better life for their children.
Dr. Cherish Smith, a psychiatrist from Trinidad and Tobago shared her reasoning with a reporter from TODAY. “Becoming a United States citizen means that I get to see that I am a part of the system and that my family gets to be a part of its endless opportunities,” Smith said.
Marlu Famorca, a registered nurse, thought similarly. Additionally, to Smith, she shared the following: “I have three children, and they all went to college and now are successful young adults. They came to me one day and said, ‘Mommy, it’s about time to become a United States citizen, just like us,’ and so here I am!”
What is Permanent Residency?
Most immigrants are unsure of where the differences lie between being a permanent resident and obtaining U.S. citizenship. Permanent residents are persons who were granted the right to live in the U.S. indefinitely. They can work in the U.S. and hold citizenship in another country. However, as a resident, how long an individual stays is based on a green card.
If you get into legal trouble, you risk facing deportation. Remaining outside the U.S. for long periods of time (anything more than six months) will be filed as abandonment. If you remain living outside the U.S. for over a year, it will be difficult to re-establish your green card status. In this case, it is in your best interest to retain a lawyer for citizenship in LA.
Advantages To Becoming a Citizen
After five years (three for spouses of U.S. citizens), permanent residents and apply for naturalization. Throughout your stay, you may have established a general understanding of U.S. history and government, and how to speak English – all of which is vital for the citizenship test. Read on, to learn how becoming a permanent citizen will benefit you.
- You Don’t Have to Renew Your Green Card – as a U.S. citizen you do not have to renew the card that proves your status every 10 years.
- No Risk of Deportation and Removal – While green card holders face immediate deportation for committing crimes, a citizen doesn’t.
- Easier to Travel and Re-enter – Your days of waiting in mandatory long lines at U.S. airports, borders, or other entry points are over. U.S. citizens normally have easier entry into other countries without a visa.
- No Loss of Status After Long Trips – Permanent residents who leave the U.S. for 180 days can lose their green card. Citizens have minimal to no risks of losing their rights if they spend months or years outside the country.
- Can Sponsor Family Members – You can sponsor immediate family members for green card status in the U.S.
- Ability to Pass Citizenship to Kids – If you have kids under the age of 18 (unmarried) they will automatically become citizens when you pass your naturalization test.
- You Can Vote and Run for Public Office – Only U.S. citizens can vote. Similarly, under certain conditions a naturalized citizen can run for office.
- Obtain Government Jobs and Receive Benefits – Certain jobs require citizenship on a federal, state, and local level. Government aid or financial assistance is not available for permanent residents.
If you have questions about beginning a U.S. citizen or planning to apply for naturalization, reach out to an experienced attorney for immigration help in Los Angeles. Although it is a straightforward process, you must meet all legal requirements and provide correct documentation to support your case.