Xiao Wang is CEO at Boundless, a expertise startup that has helped hundreds 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 legislation at Boundless, a expertise startup that has helped hundreds 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 that America thrives on tech-savvy immigrants who put down everlasting roots: Three in 5 of the nation’s greatest tech corporations — 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 almost two million employees. Considering such clear financial advantages, you’d count on an environment friendly, easy 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 costlier lately. And due to these obstacles, even immigrants who handle to safe U.S. everlasting residence usually 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 venture — as a lot an American as anybody born on this nation.
Of course, naturalization provides sensible advantages, too. So take a while this Fourth of July to think about all of the the reason why you must set your sights on citizenship now, not later:
It received’t get simpler
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The single finest cause to file a citizenship software is to be sure you don’t miss the boat. The Trump administration is liable to overhauling immigration guidelines on quick discover — so in the event you’re eligible at the moment, 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 value to candidates of almost $205 million a 12 months.
The backside line: Getting citizenship will solely get tougher within the months and years forward — making use of for citizenship beneath the present guidelines will defend you from the long run whims of America’s leaders. File your papers at the moment, and save your self complications or heartbreak down the road.
Have your say
For many new residents, that is the massive 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 residence. Still, in the event you’re hoping to drag the lever to your most popular candidate within the 2020 presidential election, you’ll must get a transfer on — there’s now a 10-month common wait simply to get your software authorized. Add all the opposite steps, and you can be taking a look at a complete wait time of as much as 1.6 years, and the road is barely rising longer.
Also price allowing for: Citizenship is a requirement for federal workplace and most state and native political positions. As a naturalized citizen, you’ll have the ability 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 family members — even your dad and mom and grownup youngsters — to America on inexperienced playing cards of their very own. Spouses and quick family members of U.S. residents get preferential remedy relating to inexperienced card functions, which implies a lot shorter waits in comparison with the spouses and family members of inexperienced cardholders.
Pro tip: If you’re a everlasting resident and have a pending marriage inexperienced card software to your partner, naturalizing upgrades you to the fast-track course of for spouses of U.S. residents.
Of course, naturalization can also be a unbelievable present to your future offspring who’re born overseas — they’re routinely residents in the event you’re American in the meanwhile of their delivery. As a citizen, you’ll have the ability to register your youngsters as U.S. residents just by reporting their delivery to the closest U.S. consulate or embassy.
Access public advantages
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As an immigrant, you’re seemingly already paying taxes that fund public applications reminiscent of Social Security and Medicaid — however in lots of instances, you may’t truly profit from these applications. In truth, you’ve most likely been justly cautious of utilizing any authorities help in any way, for worry of being labeled a “public charge” and jeopardizing your immigration standing.
As a citizen, all that modifications: You’ll have as a lot proper as anybody else to public advantages, and also you received’t have to stress about being penalized for searching for assist. You may by no means want public assist past Social Security and Medicare — research present that naturalized residents use most advantages at a lot decrease charges than the native-born — but it surely’s good to know there’s a security web ready to catch you in the event you fall.
Protect your self
In concept, inexperienced playing cards supply everlasting residence, but it surely’s nonetheless doable to lose your immigration standing in the event 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 might’t be deported even when they run afoul of the legislation. You’ll even have an incontrovertible proper to work in America and to win federal jobs and contracts which are off-limits to non-citizens.
One caveat: It’s been reported that the U.S. authorities is planning to “denaturalize” some residents. This applies principally to instances the place candidates dedicated id fraud or had been topic to deportation orders that they didn’t confide in immigration officers through the software course of. That shouldn’t have an effect on the overwhelming majority of naturalized residents, although, and in just about 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 price its weight in gold. You’ll have the ability to apply for the coveted navy-blue journey doc instantly after receiving your Certificate of Naturalization and might look ahead to visa-free journey to greater than 180 international locations. You’ll additionally have the ability to name on native U.S. embassies for help in the event you run into bother whereas touring.
As a citizen, you received’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 won’t have to surrender your present passport — not to mention your unique nationality — with the intention to turn out to be an American.
Give again by getting forward
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Getting citizenship is a brilliant monetary resolution. Citizens fare higher economically than non-citizen immigrants, maybe as a result of they’re higher positioned to place down roots and spend money on their future.
Research reveals that naturalized immigrants earn a median of $3,200 extra annually than eligible non-citizens and likewise enhance their homeownership charge by 6.3 %. In truth, it’s estimated that if simply half of eligible immigrants went forward and gained citizenship, it could increase America’s GDP by as much as $52 billion a 12 months.
All these additional earnings translate into billions of {dollars} in additional native, state, and federal tax revenues, too. That makes naturalization an effective way not simply to earn more money, but in addition to assist 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 best — but it surely’s one which’s a complete lot simpler to realize in case you have citizenship.
If you’re eligible to turn out to be a U.S. citizen, then you definately’ve already earned your home on this nation by investing years of your life right here, working exhausting, and enjoying by the principles. Applying for citizenship is a option to seal the deal, each by underscoring your dedication to the American venture and receiving a definitive assurance that you just’re welcome and wished within the Land of the Free.
So this Fourth of July, in the event you’re chasing your individual 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 endlessly.

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