As a lawful permanent resident (Green Card holder), you enjoy many of the same rights as U.S. citizens, but not all of them.
If you have created a life in the United States, you may want to seriously
consider becoming a U.S. citizen, especially if you’ve started a
family (or plan to), and you don’t see yourself moving back to your
There is no question – citizenship offers many rights and privileges
that are not enjoyed by permanent residents. Of course, citizenship also
comes with new responsibilities, such as possibly serving on a federal
jury. So, what new rights and responsibilities to you have as a U.S. citizen?
Read on to find out.
Right to vote. You have to be a citizen to vote in a federal election, and most states
don’t let people vote in elections unless they are U.S. citizens.
Duty to serve on a jury. You have to be a U.S. citizen to serve on a federal jury. As a general
rule, jury duty is restricted to U.S. citizens – an important and
You can travel with a U.S. passport. As a citizen, you can finally travel with a U.S. passport. Why is this
important? Because, if something were to go wrong abroad, you can get
help from the U.S. government.
You can bring family to the U.S. Do you have family in your home country who would love to join you in the
U.S.? As a citizen, your family members will get priority when you petition
to bring them to the U.S. permanently.
Your children can become automatic U.S. citizens. In most circumstances, once you are a U.S. citizen, if you have children
that are later born abroad, they would become U.S. citizens automatically.
You can apply for federal jobs. Some federal jobs with government agencies require that applicants be U.S.
citizens. As a citizen, you meet this requirement and therefore have more
employment opportunities in the federal sector.
You can become an elected official. Would you love a career in politics? Well, as a citizen, you can run for
most local, state and federal offices, including the U.S. Senate or House
You are not subject to removal proceedings. As a permanent resident, you are subject to removal proceedings at any
time, but as a citizen, your right to stay in the United States cannot
be threatened or taken from you.
You become eligible for federal scholarships and grants. There are a number of college scholarships and financial aid grants that
are only available to citizens.
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