Benefits of Citizenship
Becoming a U.S. citizen opens the door to many new opportunities. Once you become a United States citizen, you have something that changes your life forever.
Protection from deportation
Becoming a United States citizen protects you from deportation. As a lawful permanent resident, certain criminal convictions could make you deportable, and even some non-criminal activities can put you at risk for permanent consequences such as deportation.
Citizenship for your children
Your children under the age of 18 who are lawful permanent residents automatically may become United States citizens when you naturalize. Since your children cannot apply to naturalize on their own until they turn 18, citizenship is truly a gift you can give them.
Eligibility for government jobs
Some jobs and scholarships are available only if you are a United States citizen. Federal agencies only employ U.S. citizens and nationals. Additionally, citizenship can boost individual earning by 8 to 11 percent, leading to a potential $21-45 billion increase in cumulative earnings over ten years that will have ripple effects on the national economy. Naturalized citizens have better access to jobs.
Freedom to travel
As a lawful permanent resident, you must live in the U.S. and long trips or absences can put your green card at risk. As a United States citizen, you have the freedom to travel without restrictions and know that you can always come home. Citizenship also gives you the opportunity to seek the help and protection of U.S. embassies and consulates abroad in the event of a personal crisis or civil unrest.
As a United States citizen, you can file immigration petitions for family members. Although you can file petitions for your spouse, minor children, and unmarried adult sons and daughters as a lawful permanent resident, as a U.S. citizen, you can petition for additional family members such as parents, siblings, and married adult sons and daughters. The process is faster for some relatives of U.S. citizens than it is for relatives of permanent residents.
The right to vote
As a United States citizen you can vote in local, state, and federal elections. The right to vote in all elections is the foundation of our democracy. Only as a U.S. citizen do you have the opportunity to elect the leaders you believe will best represent you, your family, and your community.
United States citizenship comes with many other benefits, like the opportunity to serve on a jury or run for a government office. As a lawful permanent resident, you live, work, and pay taxes here just like citizens do. But becoming a U.S. citizen yourself is the only way to ensure that you have the same access to public benefits as they do.
Many immigrants feel a strong connection to their country of origin. In many cases you do not have to give up the citizenship of your country of origin even if you become a U.S. citizen.