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Naturalization . . . why it’s important.

Naturalization . . . why it is important!

Naturalization – the goal that every immigrant is working towards.  It is the process a legal permanent resident goes through in order to finally become a United States citizen.  But what are the benefits of Naturalization?  Probably more than you realize…

Reuniting Families – by naturalizing and becoming a United States citizen, you help not only yourself but both your immediate and extended family.  As a United States citizen, you can sponsor your parents, spouse and minor children to come and live with you as permanent residents.  As a United States citizen sponsor, they will receive immediate relative status and be able to immigrate to the United States within a matter of months instead of waiting years on the backlogged wait list.  You can also sponsor other relatives such as sons and daughters over 21 years old, brothers and sisters, though there is a wait list of visa numbers for these individuals. 

Voting – only United States citizens have the right to vote in federal, state and local elections.  Voting is one of the most important rights a citizen can exercise.  It is your chance to make your voice heard and have a say in the management of the United States.

Employment – only United States citizens have the right to hold most city, state or federal jobs, and in some cases ONLY United States citizens can hold certain city, state or federal jobs.  By naturalizing, your employment opportunities can substantially increase.

Travel – by naturalizing, you can leave and re-enter the United States as you please (provided you have a valid passport), without having to worry about deportation or being barred from re-entry.  As a United States citizen, your ability to travel abroad (and even live abroad) is much easier.

Entitlements – becoming a naturalized citizen allows you to have access to Social Security benefits, other benefits such as Supplemental Security Income and Food Stamps, and access to certain types of financial aid and scholarships for higher education reserved only for United States citizens. 

Dual Citizenship – certain countries allow dual citizenship.  If you country recognizes dual citizenship, they consider you to be a citizen of both countries. 

Money – no one likes to pay fees when they don’t have to.  The sooner you naturalize the less you will pay for naturalization fees as government fees associated with immigration and naturalization increase often.  The longer you wait, the more it will cost you. 

This article was written by Pablo A. Zamora, Esq., Immigration Partner at Scales of Justice, LLP and intern, Brian J. Galka (student at California School of Law). 

**Disclaimer** This article is not to be construed as legal advice.  It is written solely for informational purposes only.  Do not rely solely on the contents of this article with respect to your individual case, scenario or issue.  Consult with a competent immigration attorney regarding your rights and responsibilities.

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Immigration Law (in California)
All the services relating to immigration and naturalization provided by the firm or corporation shall be provided by an active member of the State Bar or by a person under the supervision of an active member of the State Bar. Pablo Zamora is licensed to practice law in the District of Columbia. Pablo Zamora is not an attorney licensed to practice law in California but is an attorney licensed in another state or territory of the United States and is authorized by federal law to represent persons before the Immigration Courts, Board of Immigration Appeals or the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.

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