I will be presenting a 10 part series on the requirements to become a United States Citizen by Naturalization. This first part will discuss why you should become a United States citizen. The balance of the articles will discuss the legal requirements. The first part, this article is opinionated and subjective, the balance will be strictly factual.
My interests in people becoming United States citizens are divided into two parts. The first is financial. As an immigration attorney I feed my family by representing people to get their citizenship as well as other immigration benefits. No questions about it and no apology for it. The second reason is my love for this country. I believe that those that want to come to the United States, be a part of the United States and make a better life for themselves and their family will make this a stronger country. I believe that those who have come from other places can see better our achievements and those areas where we can continue to improve. Through this vision we will continue to improve and continue to be a positive example to the world.
What does it feel like to become a United States citizen?
When my wife became a United States citizen, she was happy and proud. As we left the ceremony she stood a little straighter and told me that while she did this because our children and I are United States citizens, she was happier for herself than she ever though she would be. One lady wrote about becoming an American Citizen:
“There I was, a brand new US citizen. I felt ecstatic and proud carrying around the little US flag they handed out to all of us. I was now heir to the great history of this country, to the first democratic constitution, to the home of John F. Kennedy and other great people that I admire. What an honor! Being an American means that you have the opportunity to become anything you wish. My experience, and that of many other immigrants, is proof of that.”
For those more pragmatic than I about this the top 10 reasons to become a United States citizen are:
- Not Being Deported: As a U.S. Citizen, your right to remain in the U.S. cannot be taken away.
- The Right to Vote: Only U.S. Citizens can vote on their representatives to political office,
- Tax and Estate Reasons: Property left to a spouse is exempt from the estate tax, if the spouse is a U.S. Citizen..
- Guaranteed Re-entry to the United States After Traveling Abroad:
- Government Jobs and Benefits: Some government jobs and benefits are only available to U.S. Citizens.
- The Right to Sponsor Family Members for a Green Card: Becoming a U.S. Citizen comes with the privilege of the ability to sponsor relatives for a green card including parents, children, spouses, and siblings. “Immediate Relatives” may obtain a green card immediately.
- Citizenship for your Children: Permanent Resident Children under the age of 18 in their parent’s lawful legal custody automatically become Citizens.
- Grants and Scholarships: Many College Scholarships and other Federal Grants are only available to U.S. Citizens.
- Public Office: You must be a U.S. Citizen to run for or hold public offices.
- U.S. passport:
For those of you who are wondering what I will be writing about in the future for this series the articles will be:
- Are You Already A Citizen
- Lawful Permanent Resident.
- Age Issues.
- Continuous Residence And Physical Presence Requirements
- Good Moral Character Requirements.
- Be Attached To The Principles Of The Constitution And Well Disposed To The Good Order And Happiness Of The U.S.
- Must Agree To Either Bear Arms, Perform Noncombatant Service Or Perform Work Of National.
- Not Barred For Other Reasons
- Knowledge Of English Language, U.S. History, And Government
I hope you find this and the future articles helpful, please let me know if you have any questions, comments or complaints.
Thomas J. Geygan, Jr.