There are several important benefits to being a naturalized citizen of the U.S. You enjoy many rights that aren’t extended to someone who is only in the country on a green card, you have more options when it comes to jobs and assistance and you’ll even save money in the long run.
If you’ve ever wondered why you should go to the trouble to become a naturalized U.S. citizen, here are 8 reasons why citizenship is better than a green card.
It’s Cost Effective
In the long run, it makes more sense financially to become a naturalized citizen. The application fee required to obtain citizenship is higher than what it costs to renew your green card, but it’s a one-time only fee to become a citizen. A green card must be renewed every ten years and there is a good chance the cost to renew will rise over time.
Your Children Become Citizens
When you become a naturalized citizen, your children automatically become U.S citizens, too. To qualify, a child’s parent must a citizen before their eighteenth birthday. The child must also be in the parent’s legal custody and live in the U.S. under LPR Lawful Permanent Status.
You May Sponsor Relatives
A naturalized citizen has the ability to sponsor a greater variety of family members who wish to obtain a green card. When you have a green card, you are only allowed to sponsor your spouse and minor or unmarried adult children. Upon obtaining citizenship, you have the ability to sponsor not only your wife and children but also parents, siblings and married children.
Travel outside the U.S is more difficult when you aren’t a naturalized citizen. Not only do you have to obtain a tourist visa but you could also lose your green card if you stay outside the U.S too long. Only naturalized citizens may obtain a passport. A passport extends to citizens the right to travel freely and stay outside the country as long as they wish with no change to their status.
Being able to influence the direction of our country through participate in open and free elections is one of the most important rights granted to U.S citizens. All naturalized citizen’s who are eighteen years of age who meet the residency requirements of the state they live in are eligible to vote in local, state and national elections.
If your child wishes to attend college or you are interested in furthering your own education there are additional reasons to obtain citizenship. U.S. citizens have access to a number of scholarships, grants, and loans that can help with the cost of continuing education. These programs are not available to non-naturalized residents.
Easier To Get A Job
You will find you can’t be hired for certain jobs if you only have a green card. Federal jobs offer competitive pay and great benefits but you can’t apply until you obtain citizenship. Opportunities in law enforcement and other jobs that require a security clearance are also unavailable to green card holders.
A green card does not protect you from deportation. When are you in U.S. under Legal Protection Status ( green card) you may be removed from the U.S. or denied re-entry for a number of violations ranging from fraud to DUI. A U.S. citizen may face imprisonment or other penalties for committing a crime but they can never be deported.