Benefits of becoming a U.S. Citizen

Last Updated

October 22, 2018

Right to Immigrate Family Members

A U.S. citizen can sponsor a wider number of family members to come to the U.S. and the waiting time for them to receive a visa is faster than for the relatives of permanent residents.

Derivative Citizenship for Children

When a permanent resident naturalizes, his or her children under age 18 may automatically become U.S. citizens by derivation. There are certain requirements to qualify for derivative citizenship.

Full Civic Participation

A U.S. citizen has the right to vote in national, state, and local elections; to run for elected office; and to serve on a jury.

More Employment and Educational Opportunities

Many federal, state, and local government jobs, as well as certain scholarships for higher education, require U.S. citizenship.

Travel Benefits

A U.S. citizen can travel outside the U.S. for unlimited periods of time and re-enter freely.

Public Benefits

A U.S. citizen can receive public benefits such as food stamps and Medicaid without the restrictions imposed on non-citizens.

Protection from Deportation

A U.S. citizen, unlike a lawful permanent resident, cannot be deported.