Becoming a United States citizen is the ultimate goal for many green card holders. However, many decide putting off applying for citizenship for one reason or another. While being a legal permanent resident gives you most of the rights of a U.S. citizen, it does not give you all of them. If you are eligible to apply for citizenship, here are 10 reasons why you should consider applying now:
1. Serve on a jury
Being selected to be a juror is one of the greatest responsibilities as a U.S. Citizen. To be considered to sit on a federal jury or even a jury at the state level requires you to be U.S. Citizen.
The right to vote is another privilege that will be afforded to you once you become a U.S. Citizen. Having the ability to vote allows your voice to be heard at the federal, state, and local level.
3. Apply for federal employment
Certain jobs within the federal government requires the applicant to show proof of citizenship. Many federal government jobs offer competitive salaries with the opportunity to grow.
4. Citizenship for children under 18 years of age
If you have a child under the age of 18 at the time you become a naturalized citizen, citizenship will automatically be conferred to them. For citizenship to be conferred to your child the following requirements have to be met:
- The child must be a U.S. lawful permanent resident (green card holder);
- One parent must be a U.S. citizen by birth or naturalization; and,
- The child must be residing in the U.S. and in the legal and physical custody of a U.S. citizen parent.
5. Travel with a U.S. passport
Having a U.S. passport makes traveling much easier. Also, it allows you to receive assistance, if needed, from the U.S. government when you are overseas.
6. Become an elected official
If you have dreams of running for a government office at the federal, state, or local level, you must be a U.S. citizen.
7. Eligible for federal grants and scholarships
Attending a state university or community college is expensive. However, as a U.S. citizen it allows you the opportunity to apply for many of the federal grants and scholarships the U.S. government has to offer.
8. Bringing family members to the United States
As a U.S. citizen, you receive priority when you petition for certain family members to permanently live in the United States.
9. Retain your residency
In most circumstances, once you become a U.S. citizen, your right to remain in the country cannot be taken away.
10. Government benefits
Certain government benefits are only available to those who are U.S. citizens.
One benefit that is not mentioned above is that once you become a U.S. citizen, you won't have to worry about renewing your green card every 10 years or pay a fee anytime you lose your green card. This will save you lots of money in the long run.
When seeking any type of immigrant benefit, it is always best to seek the advice of an experienced immigration attorney. While it may cheaper to apply on your own or have a notorio (document preparer) complete the application on your behalf, an immigration attorney is better suited to review the facts of your case and ensure all the proper documents are filed with the U.S. Customs and Immigration Services. Call the Law Office of Michael D. Post today at (520) 244-3600 for your free case evaluation. We will answer all your questions and determine if applying for naturalization is right for you.