Becoming a U.S. Citizen

Citizenship Attorney in New Jersey, Marc P. Feldman

Becoming a U.S. citizen gives permanent residents new rights and privileges. Citizenship also brings with it new responsibilities. This section offers some reasons to consider becoming a U.S. citizen and describes what you need to do to become a citizen.

To become a citizen, you must be willing to swear your loyalty to the United States. You must give up your allegiance to any other country. You must agree to support and defend the U.S. Constitution. When you become a citizen, you accept all of the responsibilities of being an American. In return, you get certain rights and privileges of citizenship.

If you are interested in U.S. Citizenship, contact New Jersey citizenship lawyer Marc P. Feldman at his Morris County office for assistance at 973-267-7555.

Why Become a U.S. Citizen?

Permanent residents have most of the rights of U.S. citizens. But there are many important reasons to consider becoming a U.S. citizen. Here are some good reasons:

  • ♦    Showing your patriotism. Becoming a citizen is a way to demonstrate your commitment to your new country.
  • ♦    Voting. Only citizens can vote in federal elections. Most states also restrict the right to vote, in most elections, to U.S. citizens.
  • ♦    Serving on a jury. Only U.S. citizens can serve on a federal jury. Most states also restrict jury service to U.S. citizens. Serving on a jury is an important responsibility for U.S. citizens.
  • ♦    Traveling with a U.S. passport. A U.S. passport enables you to get assistance from the U.S. government when overseas, if necessary.
  • ♦    Bringing family members to the U.S. U.S. citizens generally get priority when petitioning to bring family members permanently to this country.  Some of the greatest benefits for naturalized citizen are immigration benefits. For example, only U.S. citizens are permitted to petition for their parents, siblings or for their married children. U.S. permanent residents are not. Also, only a certain number of immigrant visas are available each year for the spouses and minor children of U.S. permanent residents (if they were not included in the petition which gave the permanent resident his or her status originally). Because there are so many petitions filed for family members of permanent residents each year, there is a waiting list before a visa is available.  By contrast, the spouses and minor children of U.S. citizens are entitled to an immigrant visa immediately, so there is no wait list at all.
  • ♦    Obtaining citizenship for children born abroad. In most cases, a child born abroad to a U.S. citizen is automatically a U.S. citizen.
  • ♦    Becoming eligible for federal jobs. Certain jobs with government agencies require U.S. citizenship.
  • ♦    Becoming an elected official. Only citizens can run for federal office (U.S. Senate or House of Representatives) and for most state and local offices.
    Keeping your residency. A U.S. citizen’s right to remain in the United States cannot be taken away.  See Risks of Staying a “Permanent Resident
  • ♦    Becoming eligible for federal grants and scholarships. Many financial aid grants, including college scholarships and funds given by the government for specific purposes, are available only to U.S. citizens.
  • ♦    Obtaining government benefits. Some government benefits are available only to U.S. citizens.

If you are interested in U.S. Citizenship, contact New Jersey citizenship lawyer Marc P. Feldman at his Morris County office for assistance at 973-267-7555.

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