If you are a permanent resident of the United States – that is, a green card holder – you might wonder whether you really need to apply for citizenship. After all, you can live and work anywhere in the U.S.
While the green card allows you to live and work in the U.S. permanently, it comes with its share of restrictions. One of these is the risk of losing your permanent residency status and getting removed from the country. Here are some of the reasons why you should consider applying for U.S. citizenship as soon as meet the requirements to do so.
You can avoid deportation
Deportation does not only happen to illegal or undocumented immigrants. Even if you are a lawful permanent resident, you may be removed from the country on a number of grounds such as when you commit certain crimes.
As a citizen, however, you cannot be removed from the country unless it is established that you lied to obtain your green card or citizenship status.
It is cost-effective in the long-run
In the long term, it is far cheaper to obtain citizenship than to maintain your permanent residency status. To renew your green card, you will need to pay $540 each time and this cost keeps on rising every year. To apply for naturalization, however, you will need to pay a one-off fee of $725.
By becoming a U.S. citizen, you will no longer be required to renew your green card. And this can save you a lot of money in the long run. Additionally, you will not have to notify the USCIS every time you move in and out of the country.
If you have lived in the U.S. as a permanent resident for at least five years, then you may apply to become a citizen. Learning how the U.S. naturalization laws work can help you realize your dream of becoming an American citizen.