5 reasons to naturalize today
Had your green card for a while, and not sure if you’re ready to take the next step? Here are several great benefits to becoming a citizen as soon as you’re eligible:
- Travel. You are free to spend time outside the United States without worrying about abandoning your green card. You can return to the United States without fear of being harassed or detained for your immigration status.
- Vote. You’ve contributed to your community and your economy. You live with the effects of politicians’ decisions. Isn’t it time to have a say in who runs your town, state, and country?
- Citizenship for your children – no matter where they are born. If a permanent resident gives birth abroad, there’s a complex process to bring the baby back to the US. However, if a US citizen gives birth abroad, she simply registers the child’s birth at the consulate, and the child is a US citizen automatically by birth. Already have children? If you naturalize while your children are under 18 and living with you, they become citizens automatically without having to take a test or pay an additional fee. If you wait until they turn 18, they will have to apply and qualify for citizenship separately.
- Petition for your parents. A lawful permanent resident cannot help their parents become residents. A United States citizen can file for their parents as “immediate relatives,” which means there is no backlog or waitlist for them to receive green cards.
- Peace of mind. You went through a lot to get your green card, but “permanent residency” isn’t always permanent. You can lose it through spending too much time outside the US, if the government suspects you of fraud or even an innocent mistake, or if you’re convicted of certain criminal violations. Even if you succeed in keeping your green card, the fight is stressful and expensive. It is very rare and much harder for the government to try to take away citizenship.