The Love of Family

February often evokes sentimental feelings toward our loved ones as Valentine’s Day bring heart-shaped greeting cards and chocolate-covered treats. For some of the millions of legal permanent residents (LPRs) living in the United States, these feelings of love all year long inspire them to pursue U.S. citizenship.

While every LPR who naturalizes has a unique motivation for doing so, several family-focused benefits accompany U.S. citizenship. So love of family can be a powerful influence.

Family Reunification

U.S. citizens generally receive priority when petitioning to bring family members permanently to this country. Citizens can sponsor parents, spouses, and children under the age of 18 to live in the U.S. as permanent residents. Although waiting periods may be longer, citizens also can sponsor and bring other relatives, such as siblings and adult children, to the U.S.

Protecting Your Child’s Future

Children greatly benefit from parents who become U.S. citizens. Children are U.S. citizens at birth if one of their parents is a citizen, and children under the age of 18 may be entitled to U.S. citizenship when one parent naturalizes. The benefits of citizenship for children are innumerable and long lasting, ranging from access to public benefits to academic scholarships.

Visiting Family Overseas

U.S. citizens can travel overseas without worrying about losing legal status in the U.S. or obtaining a re-entry permit to the U.S. While LPRs can lose their legal status if they leave the country for long periods of time, U.S. citizens aren’t restricted on the time they can spend outside of the U.S. This allows individuals to visit freely with family members living in other countries. An added benefit to traveling with a U.S. passport is the access to government assistance if needed overseas, as citizens are protected abroad through embassies and consulates.

Some may take for granted that we’ll get to spend Valentine’s Day with loved ones, but for new citizens, love of family can take on new meaning.

Posted on February 4, 2015

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.

Get Citizenship Help

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