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WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF BECOMING A UNITED STATES CITIZEN?

Naturalization is the process to become a United States citizen.  United States citizenship offers many benefits that are unavailable to Lawful Permanent Residents ("green card" holders) as well as other immigrants.  United States citizenship includes the following benefits:
  • US passport and the perpetual right to return to the United States.  US citizens can leave the United States for any amount of time and have the right to return.  
  • The full protection of United States embassies in other countries.  
  • The ability to petition for certain immigrant family members to live permanently in the United States.  US citizens may not have to wait as long as "green card" holders when petitioning for certain family members.
  • The ability to apply for a federal job
  • The right to compete for elected office
  • The right to vote.*
*THE RIGHT TO VOTE IS ONLY AVAILABLE TO UNITED STATES CITIZENS.  
This is particularly important in the state of Illinois, as the Department of Motor Vehicles often provides individuals with voter registration documents without asking about their immigration status.  When obtaining a driver's license, individuals who are not US citizens should NOT fill-out voter registration documents.  Only US citizens can vote and only US citizens can register to vote. The consequences of non-US citizens voting and registering to vote are severe and may ultimately lead to removal (deportation) from the United States.  
Knowledge and prevention are key!    
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