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 home country. 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.
As a lawful permanent resident (
- 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 valued responsibility.
- 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 of Representatives.
- 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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