If you have lived in the U.S. for some time, you may wonder if there is any advantage to seeking citizenship. Dealing with the immigration authorities can be time-consuming and stressful. You might not feel it is worth it.
U.S. citizens have several advantages over green card holders. As a citizen, you have the right to vote. You can apply for a U.S. passport and have better opportunities to bring family members to join you. It also allows your children to apply for citizenship.
Citizenship is permanent. A green card is not
You can lose a green card, but you cannot lose citizenship. The authorities can take your green card away for several reasons:
- If convicted of specific crimes: Some crimes are severe enough to lead to deportation. Or the judge could consider a combination of crimes.
- If you do not spend enough time in the country: Once you become a U.S. citizen, you can be out of the country for as long as you wish. A green card relies on you being in the country most of the time.
- If you do not pay tax in the country: To be a permanent resident, you need to be a resident for tax purposes. Failing to declare taxes or filing in another country could cost your right to stay.
- If you fail to renew in time: Check the expiry date of your green card. If you become a U.S. citizen, there is no renewal needed. The status is yours for life.
If you can see advantages to becoming a U.S. citizen, you need to find out more about the process.