What Happens When I Become a Naturalized U.S. Citizen?

Contrary to popular assumption, you do not have to become a naturalized U.S. citizen if you want to live here permanently. Once a lawful permanent resident card (green card) is issued to you, it can be renewed indefinitely. However, millions of immigrants over the years have come to the United States, contributed to its success, and opted to forego green card renewal in order to become American citizens.

Once you take this important step, several important opportunities and benefits will now be available to you. Let’s look closely at some of the rights that the Constitution and laws of the United States only bestows on citizens.

1.  The right to vote

As a legal permanent resident, you are subject to U.S. taxes, laws, and other regulations. Once you become a citizen, you can have a say in these measures by voting for political candidates and making your voice heard in local, state, and federal campaigns.

2.  Avoid the risk of deportation

Undocumented immigrants aren’t the only ones at risk of deportation. It can also happen to lawful permanent residents (green card holders) if the alleged offense falls under a certain category. Once you are naturalized, it is much, much more difficult to be stripped of your citizenship.

Please be advised that Zafiro Law takes on family-related immigration cases but does NOT handle deportation cases.

3.  Apply for federal employment or benefits

Anyone aspiring to go into a federal government career must be an American citizen. If this is your goal, it’s a good idea to act on it quickly.

4.  Be able to travel abroad for long periods of time

If a permanent resident stays out of the United States for extended periods of time, he/she may not be allowed back into the country. Being away for extended periods of time may cause their lawful permanent resident status to be officially viewed as “abandoned” and officials could deny them re-entry. Once you become a U.S. citizen, you can travel outside the U.S. for as long as you want without fear of losing your status.

5.  Sponsor your family

Once you are a naturalized U.S. citizen, all of your children your children under the age of 18 could become citizens too. You can also sponsor your spouse, parents, and siblings to join you in the United States.

6.  Run for public office

Arnold Schwarzenegger is probably the most widely known example of this citizenship benefit. Most states require political candidates to be American citizens, either by birth or naturalization. Although you may not run for President or Vice President of the United States, naturalization will enable you to run for most political offices throughout the nation.

Becoming a U.S. citizen is an ideal way to demonstrate your commitment to the country you now call home. Let Zafiro Law guide you as you take this important step towards your future. I have helped many people become naturalized citizens, and am committed to providing you with assertive and professional representation in all areas of immigration law.

Contact Us

To learn more about how I can help your particular family-based immigration law matter, please call us at 206-547-9906 or contact us today!

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Zafiro Law

As an attorney, I am passionate about helping my clients achieve peace of mind in navigating the complex areas of family law and immigration law. Your case will get my full and dedicated attention—whether you are seeking to navigate the complexities of your family law matter or overcome the challenges of your immigration law case.
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