After you have lived in the US as a permanent resident (green card holder) for a certain number of years, the next step is to apply for US citizenship. US citizenship can be acquired by birth or by the process of naturalization. The process of an immigrant becoming a US citizen is termed as naturalization. If you are not born in the US, you have to naturalize to become a US citizen.
What are the Benefits of US Citizenship?
There are several benefits of becoming a US citizen. You are entitled to certain tax exemptions, job benefits, scholarships and grants at educational institutions, flexibility in traveling to other countries, and the right to vote, thereby voicing your choice in government policies. Once you become a citizen, your children, 18 or younger automatically become US citizens. These are some of the basic advantages.
If you decide to become a US citizen, but choose to retire in a different country, you are still entitled to receive full Social Security benefits. There is no fear of deportation or any anxiety of re-entering the country. Citizens have the ease of leaving or re-entering the US without any hassles.
You would not have to worry about renewing green cards every 10 years, after you become a US citizen. You can also petition for your other family members to come to the US with shorter waiting lists.