For many new citizens, this is the big one: As an American, you’ll be eligible to vote in all federal, state, and local elections and have your say in who gets to steer the country you’ve chosen to call home.
Pro tip: If you’re a permanent resident and have a pending marriage green card application for your spouse, naturalizing upgrades you to the fast-track process for spouses of U. S. citizens.
You might never need public support beyond Social Security and Medicare — studies show that naturalized citizens use most benefits at much lower rates than the native-born — but it’s good to know there’s a safety net waiting to catch you if you fall.
Of course, naturalization is also a fantastic gift for your future offspring who are born abroad — they’re automatically citizens if you’re American at the moment of their birth.
In theory, green cards offer permanent residence, but it’s still possible to lose your immigration status if you spend significant time outside the United States, if you have legal problems, or if the rules change.
Applying for citizenship is a way to seal the deal, both by underscoring your commitment to the American project and receiving a definitive assurance that you’re welcome and wanted in the Land of the Free.
And remember: The United States allows dual citizenship, so depending on your nation of origin, you might not have to give up your existing passport — let alone your original nationality — in order to become an American.
In fact, it’s estimated that if just half of eligible immigrants went ahead and gained citizenship, it would boost America’s GDP by up to $52 billion a year.
Gaining citizenship is more than just a patriotic gesture; it’s a practical step toward building a secure future in America and seizing all the opportunities this country has to offer.
If you’re eligible to become a U. S. citizen, then you’ve already earned your place in this country by investing years of your life here, working hard, and playing by the rules.
If you’re among that group, don’t wait to take the final step of your immigration journey. After all, U. S. citizenship brings a host of tangible and intangible perks.
Still, if you’re hoping to pull the lever for your preferred candidate in the 2020 presidential election, you’ll need to get a move on — there’s now a 10-month average wait just to get your application approved.
The bottom line: Getting citizenship will only get harder in the months and years ahead — applying for citizenship under the current rules will protect you from the future whims of America’s leaders.
As any immigrant knows, the pursuit of happiness is an American ideal — but it’s one that’s a whole lot easier to achieve if you have citizenship.
As a citizen, you’ll be able to register your children as U. S. citizens simply by reporting their birth to the nearest U. S. consulate or embassy.
So this Fourth of July, if you’re chasing your own little piece of the American dream, bear in mind that there are real and concrete benefits to naturalization.
That shouldn’t affect the vast majority of naturalized citizens, though, and in virtually any legal tangle you’ll be better off as a U. S. citizen.
It’s no secret that America thrives on tech-savvy immigrants who put down permanent roots: Three in five of the country’s biggest tech companies — Apple, Facebook, and Google among them — were founded by first- or second-generation immigrants.
Spouses and immediate relatives of U. S. citizens get preferential treatment when it comes to green card applications, which means much shorter waits compared to the spouses and relatives of green cardholders.
Taking the oath of citizenship, for one, is a profound experience and an affirmation that you’ve finally been welcomed into the American family.https://twitter.com/TechCrunch/status/1146812626854449162