Every stage in the immigration process requires different paperwork and a lot of effort from an immigrant. Obtaining a visa requires patience and precision in one’s paperwork. Adjusting one’s status to become a permanent resident requires a lengthy stay in the country and compliance with domestic laws.
Naturalizing to become a United States citizen requires additional paperwork, an in-depth interview and testing. It is quite common for immigrants to find the concept of naturalization intimidating and for them to delay becoming United States citizens as a result. Still, there are numerous valuable benefits that make naturalizing sooner rather than later a worthwhile choice. An immigrant can enjoy these new opportunities when they become a citizen.
The right to vote
A permanent resident can renew their green card every 10 years and might spend the vast majority of their life in the United States. However, they will have very little influence over domestic and local policy because they do not have the right to vote. Naturalization gives someone a part in the democratic process and allows them to influence the future of the country.
A United States passport
International travel can be a very big challenge, especially for those from certain countries. One’s ability to travel abroad largely depends on what treaties their government has negotiated. Those who naturalize and become United States citizens will find that they can travel to almost any country in the world without submitting special paperwork. Those enhanced travel opportunities can be worthwhile both for those with loved ones abroad and those engaging in international business.
Enhanced immigration opportunities
The United States has special programs that allow immediate family members, including spouses and children, to travel to the United States and live with someone who has a visa. Once someone becomes a permanent resident, an immigrant has the option of potentially helping their loved ones also become permanent residents.
For those who have parents, siblings or married children living in other countries, naturalization is typically the only way to expand which family members they can support for immigration and green cards of their own. Learning more about the benefits of naturalization and what the process involves might give someone more confidence about changing their current immigration status.