For many people who arrive in the US and hope to live in America, citizenship is the ultimate goal. Part of the reason for this is because US citizenship – whether conferred through birth or naturalization – brings with it many rights and benefits. Among these benefits are:
1) The right to vote. A US citizen can actively take part in elections, choosing the leaders that will shape their communities and their country. US citizens enjoy the right to free, democratic elections – a right that many in the world are still fighting for.
2) The right to sponsor family members for a green card. While green card holders can sponsor some family members, US citizens have an advantage when it comes to sponsorship. US citizens can sponsor more types of family members and the waiting periods for family members can be shorter as well.
3) The right to apply for virtually any job in the US. Some jobs in the US – specifically some government jobs – do require US citizenship.
4) The right to run for public office. Those who enjoy US citizenship can run for public office and become elected representatives, actively helping to shape laws and the future of the country.
5) The right to live anywhere without losing status. US citizens can live anywhere in the US, for as long as they wish. They can also choose to live anywhere in the world for as long as they wish without losing their status in the US. In fact, US citizenship status is permanent and citizens do not even have to go through the hassle of renewing their status, the way that green card holders must.
6) The right not to be deported.
7) The right to be part of the US. US citizens have the right to help contribute to the US and its history and culture.
8) The right to apply for more benefits and opportunities. Many opportunities – including school and research funding, grants, and other benefits and awards – are for US citizens only.