Xiao Wang is CEO at Boundless, a know-how startup that has helped 1000’s of immigrant households apply for marriage inexperienced playing cards and U.S. citizenship whereas offering reasonably priced entry to impartial immigration attorneys.

Anjana Prasad
Contributor

Anjana Prasad is senior advisor of immigration regulation at Boundless, a know-how startup that has helped 1000’s of immigrant households apply for marriage inexperienced playing cards and U.S. citizenship whereas offering reasonably priced entry to impartial immigration attorneys.

It’s no secret America thrives on tech-savvy immigrants who put down everlasting roots: Three in 5 of the nation’s largest tech firms — Apple, Facebook, and Google amongst them — had been based by first- or second-generation immigrants.
Those giants mixed boast a market cap of over $4 trillion and make use of practically two million employees. Considering such clear financial advantages, you’d anticipate an environment friendly, simple course of for turning America’s tech-savviest new arrivals into U.S. residents.
But that’s not the case. Naturalizing has solely gotten tougher and dearer in recent times. And due to these boundaries, even immigrants who handle to safe U.S. everlasting residence typically cease wanting formally changing into U.S. residents. In truth, a 3rd of citizenship-eligible inexperienced card holders, or round 9.3 million folks, have but to use.
If you’re amongst that group, don’t wait to take the ultimate step of your immigration journey. After all, U.S. citizenship brings a bunch of tangible and intangible perks.
Taking the oath of citizenship, for one, is a profound expertise and an affirmation that you just’ve lastly been welcomed into the American household. From the second you naturalize, you turn out to be an equal stakeholder in our nationwide mission — as a lot an American as anybody born on this nation.
Of course, naturalization gives sensible advantages, too. So take a while this Fourth of July to contemplate all of the the reason why you need to set your sights on citizenship now, not later:
It gained’t get simpler
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The single finest purpose to file a citizenship software is to ensure you don’t miss the boat. The Trump administration is vulnerable to overhauling immigration guidelines on brief discover — so in case you’re eligible at present, it doesn’t essentially imply you may be tomorrow.
Applying sooner will make the method faster and cheaper, too. Already, the federal government plans to additional complicate naturalization steps, at an estimated price to candidates of practically $205 million a yr.
The backside line: Getting citizenship will solely get tougher within the months and years forward — making use of for citizenship underneath the present guidelines will shield you from the long run whims of America’s leaders. File your papers at present, and save your self complications or heartbreak down the road.
Have your say
For many new residents, that is the large one: As an American, you’ll be eligible to vote in all federal, state, and native elections and have your say in who will get to steer the nation you’ve chosen to name house. Still, in case you’re hoping to drag the lever on your most popular candidate within the 2020 presidential election, you’ll have to get a transfer on — there’s now a 10-month common wait simply to get your software authorised. Add all the opposite steps, and you may be a complete wait time of as much as 1.6 years, and the road is just rising longer.
Also value making an allowance for: Citizenship is a requirement for federal workplace and most state and native political positions. As a naturalized citizen, you’ll be capable to run for workplace your self.
And whereas immigrants can’t turn out to be president, loads of naturalized Americans already characterize their communities in Congress. Get your paperwork squared away if you wish to be subsequent.
Plan for the long run 
Whether you’re beginning a enterprise, constructing your profession, or shopping for a house, it helps to have the safety that citizenship affords. Naturalizing additionally makes it far simpler to carry kin — even your mother and father and grownup youngsters — to America on inexperienced playing cards of their very own. Spouses and quick kin of U.S. residents get preferential therapy relating to inexperienced card purposes, which implies a lot shorter waits in comparison with the spouses and kin of inexperienced cardholders.
Pro tip: If you’re a everlasting resident and have a pending marriage inexperienced card software on your partner, naturalizing upgrades you to the fast-track course of for spouses of U.S. residents.
Of course, naturalization can be a incredible present on your future offspring who’re born overseas — they’re robotically residents in case you’re American for the time being of their beginning. As a citizen, you’ll be capable to register your youngsters as U.S. residents just by reporting their beginning to the closest U.S. consulate or embassy.
Access public advantages
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As an immigrant, you’re possible already paying taxes that fund public packages resembling Social Security and Medicaid — however in lots of circumstances, you possibly can’t truly profit from these packages. In truth, you’ve in all probability been justly cautious of utilizing any authorities help in any way, for concern of being labeled a “public charge” and jeopardizing your immigration standing.
As a citizen, all that adjustments: You’ll have as a lot proper as anybody else to public advantages, and also you gained’t have to worry about being penalized for in search of assist. You would possibly by no means want public help past Social Security and Medicare — research present that naturalized residents use most advantages at a lot decrease charges than the native-born — however it’s good to know there’s a security internet ready to catch you in case you fall.
Protect your self
In principle, inexperienced playing cards provide everlasting residence, however it’s nonetheless doable to lose your immigration standing in case you spend vital time exterior the United States, in case you have authorized issues, or if the principles change. Citizens obtain far better protections and may’t be deported even when they run afoul of the regulation. You’ll even have an incontrovertible proper to work in America and to win federal jobs and contracts which can be off-limits to non-citizens.
One caveat: It’s been reported that the U.S. authorities is planning to “denaturalize” some residents. This applies largely to circumstances the place candidates dedicated id fraud or had been topic to deportation orders that they didn’t speak in confidence to immigration officers in the course of the software course of. That shouldn’t have an effect on the overwhelming majority of naturalized residents, although, and in nearly any authorized tangle you’ll be higher off as a U.S. citizen.
Get a passport, and see the world
In these turbulent instances, a U.S. passport is value its weight in gold. You’ll be capable to apply for the coveted navy-blue journey doc instantly after receiving your Certificate of Naturalization and may look ahead to visa-free journey to greater than 180 international locations. You’ll additionally be capable to name on native U.S. embassies for help in case you run into bother whereas touring.
As a citizen, you gained’t have to fret about dropping your standing, no matter how lengthy you’re away from the United States. And keep in mind: The United States permits twin citizenship, so relying in your nation of origin, you may not have to surrender your present passport — not to mention your unique nationality — to be able to turn out to be an American.
Give again by getting forward
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Getting citizenship is a great monetary choice. Citizens fare higher economically than non-citizen immigrants, maybe as a result of they’re higher positioned to place down roots and put money into their future.
Research exhibits that naturalized immigrants earn a median of $3,200 extra annually than eligible non-citizens and in addition enhance their homeownership charge by 6.3 p.c. In truth, it’s estimated that if simply half of eligible immigrants went forward and gained citizenship, it could enhance America’s GDP by as much as $52 billion a yr.
All these further earnings translate into billions of {dollars} in further native, state, and federal tax revenues, too. That makes naturalization an effective way not simply to earn more money, but additionally to help your new group and make America a stronger and extra affluent place for your self and your family members.
You’ve earned it, so go get it
Gaining citizenship is greater than only a patriotic gesture; it’s a sensible step towards constructing a safe future in America and seizing all of the alternatives this nation has to supply. As any immigrant is aware of, the pursuit of happiness is an American ideally suited — however it’s one which’s a complete lot simpler to attain in case you have citizenship.
If you’re eligible to turn out to be a U.S. citizen, then you definitely’ve already earned your house on this nation by investing years of your life right here, working laborious, and taking part in by the principles. Applying for citizenship is a approach to seal the deal, each by underscoring your dedication to the American mission and receiving a definitive assurance that you just’re welcome and wished within the Land of the Free.
So this Fourth of July, in case you’re chasing your personal little piece of the American dream, keep in mind that there are actual and concrete advantages to naturalization. After all, the smoke and noise from the fireworks will finally fade away — however your American citizenship will final perpetually.

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