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What is naturalization?

| Feb 16, 2021 | Immigration Law

Dealing with U.S. immigration authorities can be challenging, especially if English is not your mother tongue. The technical terms they use can be confusing. Naturalization might sound like a terrifying medical procedure. Thankfully all it means is making you a U.S. citizen.

What are the advantages of naturalization?

If you already have permanent residence status in the U.S., you might wonder why you need to become a citizen. There are several advantages:

  • No need to renew: As a permanent resident, you need to reapply every few years to stay in the country. The authorities could turn you down. Once you get citizenship, you do not have to renew it ever.
  • You can come and go as you please: You can lose your permanent resident status if you are out of the country for too long. It restricts your chance to visit family back home or travel to other countries for pleasure or business. As a citizen, there are no such restrictions.
  • You can vote: If you consider the U.S. as your home, you will want to have a say in who is in power. As a permanent resident, you have to stand by and watch while others make the decisions that affect you.
  • You have more opportunity to bring family members: While a permanent residency may permit some family to join you, becoming a citizen makes it easier.
  • You get a U.S. passport: A United States passport gives you access to hundreds of countries around the world. It may be welcome where the one from your country of birth is not.

If you feel you are ready to become a U.S. citizen through naturalization, check the conditions you need to meet to apply.