Many permanent residents who have had their “green-cards” for decades fail to take advantage of the benefits of U.S. citizenship. With the current political climate it is more important than ever to seriously consider applying for citizenship.
There are many benefits that are available only to citizens. Other than voting, owning a U.S. passport enables the passport holder to travel internationally with ease, especially since many countries do not require a visa for U.S. citizens. Since there are no duration limitations on internatioal travel, re-entry to the U.S. is worry free and without hassle. There have been instances where the government has stripped non-citizens of their green-card when trying to re-enter the U.S. after even a short absence from the country. Citizens can exit and re-enter the country without problems.
Benefit of bringing family members to the United States:
There are Immediate Relative Visas and Family Preference Immigrant Visas available to U.S. citizens, which are not available to green-card holders. Citizens can bring family members to the United States with “IR visas,” including spouses, parents of citizens who are at least 21 years old, unmarried children under 21, and adopted children.
Often jobs, including federal jobs, require U.S. citizenship. Permanent residents are deprived of the opportunity to apply for many positions, which open doors to great benefits, high salaries, and retirement benefits.
While permanent residents risk deportation for certain crimes, a U.S. citizen cannot be deported. There have been instances where permanent residents who have been in the U.S. for decades have been deported due to crime.
The Naturalization process:
Citizenship can be gained though the naturalization process, which includes deriving citizenship as a minor from parent(s). Permanent residents who have been arrested, or had run-ins with the law may jeopardize their status when applying. It is advisable to hire an immigration attorney who can evaluate the case for any pitfalls.