Many people believe that U.S. citizenship only confers upon them the right to vote in federal elections and take part in the civic life. This is not the only benefit of naturalization; there are many other lesser-known benefits of citizenship.
If you are a legal permanent resident (green card holder), you will have to update your green card every ten years to maintain your legal status. Green card holders must always carry with them their resident cards to show that they are legal residents of the country. If you upgrade your status to U.S. citizen, you will not be required to renew your status. Nor would you be required to carry with you your citizenship papers to show that you are a citizen of the U.S.
Once you naturalize and obtain citizenship, you can petition for your parents, husband or wife, children, and your brothers or sisters and bring them to the U.S. as legal residents. Your children below age 18 will automatically become U.S. citizens once you naturalize.
You may not have to give up citizenship in your home country to swear allegiance to the U.S. Many fail to apply for citizenship in the U.S. out of fear that they may lose residence in their home countries. People who are naturalizing can have citizenship of America and of their home countries. However, they may not be able to hold dual citizenship if their home countries are against dual citizenship. In that case, they will need to choose one citizenship over the other.
Naturalized U.S. citizens will be granted access to Medicare and other health care programs. Once you become a U.S. citizen, you can get a U.S. passport. If you travel abroad as a U.S. citizen, you will be able to seek protection of the U.S. government abroad. This privilege is meant only for U.S. citizens. A green card holder cannot get a passport in the U.S.
Permanent residents who go against the U.S. immigration laws and who commit serious crimes are likely to be deported. But this does not apply to U.S. citizens; U.S. citizenship status will protect you from deportation.
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