WHY BECOME A CITIZEN?
Naturalization is the process by which a non-citizen applies for, and becomes a citizen. Citizenship itself, however, does not necessarily have to be through naturalization.
People want to become US citizens for all sorts of reasons. They are all good reasons. Filing for US citizenship is one of the best things you can do for yourself. If you are eligible to become a citizen, it means that you have been a permanent resident (green card holder) for quite some time. You may have been in the United States for years before. In any case, it is likely that you have invested a lot of time, money, and effort to build your life in the United States.
Think of the fees you pay to become a citizen as an insurance premium on that life. What would you pay to help safeguard what you’ve worked for?
And the policy comes with many other perks, too. You get the right to vote, giving you a voice in your adopted country. You get the right to petition more quickly for loved ones to immigrate to the United States. You are able to travel freely. And no more worries about time spent outside the United States, renewing cards, filing change of address forms, or the myriad of other obligations placed on noncitizens. And finally, with extremely rare exceptions, you cannot be deported. Many otherwise good people find themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time. Getting charged with a crime when you are not a citizen means you have to deal with the government twice. Once for the criminal case – and you get a speedy trial, right to a jury, right to a lawyer, and you’re innocent until proven guilty. And once more in immigration court, which allows for mandatory detention, no bond, no speedy trial right, no jury, no right to a lawyer, and it’s your burden to prove you have the right to stay in the United States.
It only matter when it matters, but when it does, it’s a big deal.
What’s the difference between “naturalization” and “citizenship”? Click here.
Learn more about eligibility requirements for naturalization.
Be sure to visit our main Citizenship Page for more free advice.