United States citizenship is one step beyond permanent residency (Green Card). Citizenship gives the individual the maximum rights available in the United States. United States citizens may also find it advantageous to use a U.S. passport when traveling abroad.
You may apply for naturalization if: You have been a lawful permanent resident for five years.
You have been a lawful permanent resident for three years, have been married to a US citizen for those three years, and continue to be married to that U.S. citizen.;
You are a lawful permanent resident child of United States citizen parents: or
You have qualifying military service. Children under 18 may automatically become citizens when their parents naturalize. You may inquire at your local Immigration and Naturalization Service Center for further information.
Go to Citizenship Application, Test and Interview Products.Step 2:
Submit a complete and accurate application form with all the necessary attachments and requirements. You must ensure that the application is submitted to the correct Immigration Office.Step 3:
Prepare for the multiple choice examination which will include questions about US History, Government Structure and English Proficiency.
Prepare for the Citizenship Interview with an Immigration Officer.Step 5:
Await Immigration approval and date for the naturalization ceremony. Once your application is approved, you will be required to take the Oath of Allegiance to the United States in order to become a U.S. citizen.Step 6:
Find out if you are an eligible candidate for retaining your current citizenship and obtaining dual citizenship.Advantages of being a US Citizen:
Citizens have much greater ability to sponsor relatives for U.S. immigration. Many government contracts and jobs require a U.S. citizenship. You can not obtain a voting card without becoming a citizen. A citizen does not generally have to reside in the U.S. By contrast, Green Card holders can have their Green Cards revoked if they fail to reside in the U.S. If you become naturalized you do not have to be concerned about replacing your Green Card with newer versions. For example, the INS announced the expiration of the old Green Card forms I-551. All people in possession of the card had to apply for replacement with a secure, machine-readable Alien Registration Receipt Card. Citizens does not have to do this.
Only American citizens can obtain a U.S. passport.
Entering the United States is easier with a US citizenship than with a Green Card.
Many countries waive visa requirements for U.S. passport holders.
With a U.S. passport, you are eligible for U.S. citizen services from U.S. embassies and consulates when traveling throughout the world.
U.S. citizens do not have to carry proof of citizenship. On the other hand, INS feels that permanent residents must always carry their Green Cards. INS has detained permanent residents who forgot to carry their Green Cards.
Ability to vote in the United States
Can immigrate other family members to the United States
Prevent risk of deportation. A non-citizen can be deported for a convicted crime while a citizen cannot.
Eligibility for state and federal jobs.
Ability to live outside of the U.S. and never lose citizenship.
The right to run for public office.
No need to file green card renewal applications.