A green card is a substantial upgrade from a visa. A visa lets you legally enter the country and stay temporarily. With a green card, you become a permanent resident. Your risk of removal from the country goes down substantially.
Your opportunities will also increase when you receive your green card. Employment and housing can be easier to obtain. After you have had a green card for a few years, you may want to consider naturalization. Naturalization is the process of becoming a full-fledged United States citizen.
Becoming a naturalized citizen makes your position in the United States even more secure. Naturalized citizenship cements your right to stay in the United States indefinitely. It also opens you up to multiple other noteworthy benefits. What are some of the biggest changes that come with your citizenship?
You can help family members enter the United States
Family-based immigration is one of the fastest and most common ways that people enter the country. You have some options with a green card. Permanent residents can potentially help their children, spouses and even parents enter the United States. However, if you want to help a sibling enter the country, that is only possible as a citizen. There are more options and faster solutions for citizens helping loved ones enter the country with family preference visas.
You can vote in future elections
Democracy requires active participation, and voting is the most basic way to participate. In the United States, you need to be a citizen to vote. As a permanent resident, you do not have a say in the government. You cannot help elect officials who will support your immigration rights or vote on proposed state laws that might impact you. Once you become a naturalized citizen, you will have the right to vote and have your voice heard in every election.
You can run for political office
Voting is one way to perform your civic duty. Securing a political office for yourself is another option. Many public offices have a requirement that candidates are citizens of the United States. If you want to help change the country for the better, you will need to be a citizen first.
Exploring all of the benefits of becoming a naturalized citizen could motivate you to take that next step.