Eight benefits of citizenship you didn’t know about

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.

Posted on March 11, 2014

Our Impact

  • The Campaign has completed over 3,700 naturalization workshops and clinics.
  • Over 250,000 citizenship applications completed since July 2011.

    Saved aspiring citizens and their families over $206million in legal and application fees.
  • Adopted scalable technology. MP3 players, Google Voice, and Virtual Private Network (VPN) services are being used to enhance naturalization service delivery.
  • Expanded New American Workforce (an effort to provide naturalization assistance within corporations) which has partnered with over 100 businesses across the nation, ranging from hotels in Miami to American Apparel in Los Angeles.
  • Deployed Citizenshipworks, an online tool, across the Campaign in multiple settings and languages. A newly redesigned platform guides applicants through through their citizenship application from start to finish and connects applicants to legal help at partnering non-profits.
  • Were instrumental in inspiring the US Citizenship and Immigration Service to support the Citizenship Corners initiative.
  • Created innovative partnerships with public libraries, school districts, universities, social service agencies, and employers, all of which yield not only greater numbers of applicants but also greater awareness of the naturalization process.
  • Deployed a large-scale volunteer recruitment program through an e-learning course.

    Reached diverse communities. Local partners consistently outreach and provide culturally competent and language-appropriate services.
Learn more from our
Impact Report.

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Who We're Helping

People come to America from all over the world with dreams of achieving a better life for themselves and their families and calling this great nation home. Eight million people who live, work, and pay taxes in this country are eligible for citizenship, yet only about eight percent of them naturalize each year. Find out more about these individuals and the barriers they face.Read More