Wilner & O'Reilly, APLC
One Practice. One Focus. One Passion: Immigration Law.

What are the benefits of becoming a U.S. citizen?

Some California residents may be eligible to become U.S. citizens, but they may be unsure if taking that final step is worthwhile. Citizenship carries important benefits and may be worth the consideration of lawful permanent residents in the state.

In order to become a U.S. citizen, people must meet the eligibility requirements, including the ability to pass a test on certain items, a good understanding of U.S. civics and a good command of the English language. Those who meet all of the requirements may apply to become naturalized. They will then attend a ceremony and take an oath of allegiance after going through an interview.

People choose to become citizens for many different reasons. Some want to have the right to vote, a right that is unavailable to lawful permanent residents. Others wish to seek an elected office that requires citizenship status. Some people would like the opportunity to apply for and obtain a federal job. Others want to be able to bring family members to the country. Citizen petitions for family members are given priority over petitions by permanent residents. Some people want to become naturalized due to a feeling of patriotism for their adopted country. Others want to enjoy the relative safety and protection afforded by the ability to obtain and travel with a U.S. passport.

Whatever the reasons a person wants to become a U.S. citizen, the status confers numerous benefits that are reserved for citizens of the country. People who are interested in the naturalization process and want to learn more about the steps they must take in order to be granted the status may benefit by speaking to an immigration and naturalization attorney. Citizenship attorneys may be able to help gather needed documents, provide advice about the process and help navigate through the system's complexities.

Source: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, "A Guide to Naturalization," accessed on Jan. 12, 2015

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