We all know that the United States is a nation of immigrants. However, what you may be surprised to find out is that exactly 228 years ago this week the first immigrants officially received their U.S. citizenship. On September 17, 1787, the Founding Fathers signed the U.S. Constitution and created the first U.S. citizens. Each year, on September 17, Americans celebrate Constitution Day and Citizenship Day.
1. Getting a U.S. Passport
U.S. citizens can enter around 160 countries without needing to obtain a visa. Having a U.S. passport would allow you to travel to countries that allow U.S. citizens to enter without the hassle of getting a visa, saving you time and money. So go ahead, dust off those boots and start seeing the world!
2. Living Outside the U.S.
Many permanent residents (green card holders) have family that live outside of the U.S. If some unfortunate tragedy happens to your loved one, it may be necessary for you to spend long periods of time outside the country. As a green card holder you risk the chance of losing your status if you reside outside the U.S. for more than six months at a time without requesting special permission from the U.S. government. As a U.S. citizen, no such restriction exists. You can stay in any country you like without ever losing your citizenship.
3. U.S. Citizenship Is Cheaper in the Long Run
If one of the reasons you put off getting your citizenship is that it’s too expensive, think about this: long term, getting your citizenship is cheaper than renewing your green card.
The cost to renew a green card is $450 every 10 years, whereas the cost of applying for citizenship is a one time payment of $680. If you get your citizenship before you need to renew your green card, your fees would total $680 even if you live in the country for another forty years. However, if you don’t become a citizen, every 10 years you’ll have to pay another $450. After 40 years that’s $1,800! It just makes financial sense to get your citizenship instead.
4. Protecting Your Children
In an earlier article I wrote about how getting your U.S. citizenship could protect your children from deportation. If you meet the requirements, your permanent resident children automatically become citizens too. This would give them all the rights of being a U.S. citizen without the need to go through the long process of getting their citizenship through naturalization.
5. U.S. Citizens Make More Money
On average, naturalized citizens make more money than their permanent resident counterparts. The reasons for this differ, but one factor may be that U.S. citizens have better access to job opportunities and education.
To find out more reasons why U.S. Citizens make more money, check out Danielle McCrea’s article here.
So now that you know some other great benefits of becoming a U.S. citizenship, celebrate Citizenship Day and apply for U.S. citizenship today!