Beneficiaries of a lawful permanent resident status (green card holders) often weigh the value of becoming a naturalized U.S. citizen. Several individuals are satisfied with the ability to live and work in the U.S. but many others are not content and want more. The Constitution and laws of the United States affords many the rights and opportunities to both citizens and non-citizens residing in the U.S. but take into consideration these three benefits of U.S. citizenship.
It is Affordable
Becoming a U.S. citizen is cost-effective. For instance, when it comes to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) filing fees for U.S. citizenship through naturalization it is less expensive than maintaining lawful permanent residency.
Additionally, when it comes to replacing or renewing a U.S. green card a permanent resident will need to pay that fee to renew and will be required to do so again after 10 years. But remember that if you lose your green card or it gets stolen or damaged you will need to pay that fee again to replace it. Note that USCIS fees for a green card renewal have increased significantly.
On the other hand, the one-time USCIS fee for the naturalization application will only need to be paid once. While it may be slightly expensive, U.S. citizenship is good for a lifetime. Overall, it is significantly less expensive. After all, you will not have to ever pay another USCIS fee again.
When it comes to traveling overseas and assisting other family members to immigrate, U.S citizens get special service. Those seeking to travel outside the U.S. or petition more family members to immigrate to the U.S. will get priority over permanent residents. There is no cap. This is not the case with visas for relatives of lawful permanent residents. There is a restricted number of visas issued for each category and as a result there can be very long wait times that span several years.
Permanent residents may not petition a married child, parent, or sibling but US citizens can.. Talk to an immigration attorney when petitioning for a family relative. Additionally, a child that is born in a foreign country to U.S. citizen parents may automatically acquire U.S. citizenship at birth. This is not the case for permanent resident parents.
There are enormous benefits to acquiring a U.S. passport when becoming a U.S. citizen. A U.S. passport allows people to travel internationally without problems. Certain countries that work hand in hand with the U.S., on the Visa Waiver Program will allow entry to U.S. passport holders for a specific timeframe, so you will not need to apply for a visa to travel there. A U.S. passport also allows U.S. citizens to get assistance from the American government when overseas.
Few people expect to get arrested for a crime but the consequences of being arrested are much higher for a lawful permanent resident. The U.S. government has the authority to revoke permanent residency for several reasons. Many crimes can result in the deportation of a permanent resident or at least create major and expensive problems in renewing a green card.
Every time a permanent resident reenters the country from traveling overseas, reentry is at the discretion of a Customs & Border Protection agent. The CBP representative has the authority to refuse entry and make life complicated for the permanent resident. A CBP officer can find someone inadmissible if they have been outside of the U.S. for over 6 months.
U.S. citizens have an advantage. The U.S. government is unable to revoke citizenship unless there is massive evidence of a crime against the state. This is why U.S. citizenship is good for life and you have more freedom and tranquility.
Talk to Your Nearest Immigration Law Firm
If you want to discuss the benefits of U.S. citizenship with an immigration law expert contact your local law firm. Gambacorta Law Office will gladly review the benefits of getting U.S. citizenship and will also help you through the application process. Call us at (847) 443-9303.