Pop quiz – what are the benefits of becoming a citizen?

If you immediately answered voting, that’s true – it’s an important benefit of naturalization. But it’s not the only one.

According to Susan Reed, from our local partners at Michigan Immigrant Rights Center, the benefits of citizenship extend far beyond the power to vote.

  1. Access to public benefits
      An example: Medicare can require that legal permanent residents pay a more expensive premium than citizens. Becoming a citizen ensures access to Medicare on the same basis as all Americans
  2. Petitioning family members
      Adult U.S. citizens can file immigration petitions for parents, siblings, married sons and daughters. Legal permanent residents can only petition for spouses, minor children, and unmarried adult sons and daughters.
  3. Traveling with a U.S. passport
      As a U.S. citizen, you can travel with a U.S. passport and seek protection from a U.S. embassy in the case of personal crisis or civic unrest.
  4. Citizenship for your LPR children under 18
      When you become a citizen, any green card holding children under 18 that you have automatically become citizens, as well.
  5. Protection from deportation
      Becoming a U.S. citizen protects you and your children from deportation.
  6. Dual citizenship
      Many nations allow you to hold dual citizenship. Check with your consulate or embassy for further details.
  7. Retention of retirement income and ability to travel to the U.S.
      Many folks want to retire in their home countries. But if you retire abroad as a green card holder, you might not be able to collect your Social Security retirement under certain circumstances. You might also be considered as having “abandoned” your residence and lose your green card.
  8. Government Jobs
      Many government jobs require citizenship.

Get the full story at New America Media.