Maybe you’re satisfied living as a permanent resident and concerned about the requirements to become a U.S. citizen. You know there are benefits. But are they worth it? And what about the complicated immigration forms — will an immigration attorney be necessary? Permanent residence vs citizenship: it’s a common dilemma.
Permanent Residence vs Citizenship: The Costs
USCIS has a fee either way. You can pay $450 to renew your green card, but you’ll have to do it again in another 10 years (or sooner if you lose your card). On the other hand, you can pay $680 and gain the rights of U.S. citizenship. Citizenship is good for a lifetime, and you won’t ever have to pay another USCIS fee again!
Permanent Residence vs Citizenship: The Benefits
There are even bigger benefits of U.S. citizenship…
Bring Family Members to the United States
U.S. citizens have the privilege of helping family members immigrate much faster than permanent residents can. Read about immediate relative and family preference immigrant visas.
Make your opinion count. Only U.S. citizens can vote in Federal elections. Most states also restrict the right to vote, in most elections, to U.S. citizens. Voting also gives you a voice for immigration reform.
Travel with a U.S. Passport
Traveling with a U.S. passport will allow you entry into most countries around the world without a hassle. In fact, U.S. passport holders have no visa requirement or free visa access in more than 100 countries. Learn more about the Visa Waiver Program.
Employment with the U.S. Government
Most jobs with government agencies require U.S. citizenship.
Pride & Patriotism
As a permanent resident, you enjoy many of the advantages that living in the United States has to offer. By becoming a U.S. citizen, you declare your love for the United States and become culturally ingrained in American society.
In many cases only U.S. citizens are eligible for the financial aid grants made by the government, including college scholarships.
Few of us expect to be arrested for a crime. But what if you were? Permanent residency can be revoked; citizenship is good for life. Many crimes can result in deportation of a permanent resident or at least create major (and expensive) problems just to renew a green card. Citizenship cannot be revoked unless there is substantial evidence of a crime against the state.
Applying for Citizenship is Easier Than You Think
CitizenPath makes Form N-400, Application for Naturalization, easy to complete. Our online service gives you step-by-step guidance, pictures and simple instructions. CitizenPath will even provide alerts if you answer a question in a way that could be a problem. It was designed by immigration attorneys that understand the process. Prepare for citizenship in the Citizenship Resource Center or get started with the N-400 application.
If you just want to renew your green card, we can help with that too. Try the I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card.