There are many advantages of US citizenship. Becoming a US citizen entitles one to benefits that are not available to Green Card holders including the right to vote, the ability to travel with a US passport, and preference in sponsoring relatives for US citizenship.
One of the advantages of US citizenship is the right to vote in local and national elections. By voting, US citizens can influence local, state, and federal politics. They can elect political representatives and make their voices heard on taxes, schools, and foreign policy, among other issues. US citizens can also be elected to public office. Additionally, they are eligible for certain unelected government jobs and certain jobs requiring security clearances that are not available to Green Card holders. US citizens can make a big impact on the accountability and efficiency of the US government.
Another of the advantages of US citizenship is the ability to obtain a US passport. Having a US passport makes it easier to travel to many areas of the world. In fact, US citizens do not need to apply for a visa before entering many countries, including the United Kingdom, France, Japan, and Australia. US passport holders can take advantage of services offered by US embassies located all over the world if they should ever require assistance while traveling abroad.
US citizens are not required to carry proof of their citizenship at all times, while Green Card holders must always carry proof of authorization to be in the United States. There is no requirement for citizens to renew their US citizenship once it is granted, but Green Card holders must renew their Green Cards every ten (10) years. This requires the filing of an application and payment of a fee. Green Card holders may face deportation if convicted of certain types of crimes, whereas US citizens do not face this penalty. US citizens can never be deported, which is another of the major advantages of US citizenship.
US citizens can spend as much time as they like outside of the US with no immigration consequences. Green Card holders may lose their status as permanent residents if they spend too much time outside of the US because of certain legal requirements to be physically present in the US. If Green Card holders lose their status, they have to start the process of permanent residence all over again, which takes time and costs money.
US citizens can petition for Green Cards for their family members. While Green Card holders can do this as well, the process is considerably faster if the petitioner is a citizen because the family members of US citizens are given priority by the government.
A more intangible advantage of US citizenship is the sense of belonging that citizens feel. Obtaining citizenship helps people feel a part of the community of the United States of America. It is one of many ways to demonstrate a commitment to the country and its ideals.
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