U.S. Law Center

Benefits available through U.S. citizenship

There are a number of reasons that a foreign national might be interested in living in the United States. Not everyone who lives and works in Orange and Riverside Counties is interested in becoming a citizen, but the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services points out that there are many benefits provided by citizenship that are not available to those in the country in other capacities.

U.S. citizens have several means for bringing family members into the country and helping them to become citizens, as well. For example, the children of U.S. citizens are subsequently also citizens, even if they were born abroad, and spouses are able to become citizens more easily. Citizens may also sponsor family members who wish to live in the United States permanently by filling out an Affidavit of Support through the USCIS agreeing to be responsible for that person financially during the naturalization process.

In the United States, being able to participate in federal, state and local government is often contingent on being a citizen. All U.S. citizens are encouraged to be active members of their communities. Opportunities include, but are not limited to, the following functions:

  •          Voting
  •          Serving in the military
  •          Running for an elected office
  •          Working for the federal government
  •          Serving on a jury

Many who are in the country on a visa are limited in their ability to travel abroad and maintain their status. This can even affect those who are permanent residents. However, a U.S. citizen is eligible for a passport that makes traveling and assistance from the government overseas possible.

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