The decision to become a U.S. citizen is a significant life choice. While the citizenship decision may not directly impact the employer of a permanent resident, it is important for an employer to understand the process and eligibility requirements for naturalization.
Requirements for Becoming a U.S. Citizen
- Legal permanent resident of the U.S. for five years, or three years if married to a U.S. citizen.
- Resident for at least three months in the state where you are applying for citizenship.
- 18 years of age or older.
- Possess a good moral character.
- Successfully pass a citizenship test to demonstrate basic English skills and knowledge of U.S. history and government.
Advantages of Becoming a U.S. Citizen
- Citizens have the right to vote in local, state and federal elections.
- Citizens can run for public office.
- Citizens can legally bring immediate family members to live in the U.S.
- Unmarried minor children who are permanent residents automatically become citizens when both parents or the custodial parent acquire U.S. citizenship.
- Citizens can receive full Social Security benefits while living in most foreign countries.
- Traveling to some foreign countries becomes easier.
- Citizens cannot be deported, unlike permanent residents, for committing some criminal offenses.
Disadvantages of Becoming a U.S. Citizen
- An oath of allegiance to the United States and renunciation of loyalty to country of origin are required.
- Property ownership in the country of origin may become a problem.
- A work permit may be required to work in the country of origin.
- The right to vote in the country of origin may be lost.
- Citizenship in the country of origin may be lost.