Immigration
Green Cards

Is everyone who is a permanent resident alien forced to become a US citizen and what are the advantages of being a US citizen versus staying a green card holder?

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2005-11-21 03:35:05
2005-11-21 03:35:05

No, you can remain a green card holder as long as you want. At present there do not seem to be a lot of advantages in becoming a citizen other than being able to vote, but there always remains the possibility that laws could be changed such that green card holders may not be eligible for certain federal assistance programs. For example, you might want to think about what would happen if you lost your job. Would you be eligible for full federal disability programs if you were not a US citizen. If your own country does not require you to give up citizenship when you take up US citizenship, you may find that you could have dual citizenship and have nothing to lose by becoming a US citizen. Green card members may not have to pay the 7.5% FICA tax which pays for social security benefits. Therefore, you wouldn't be eligible for the benefits. As a US citizen, you would pay the tax and after accumulating a certain number of points, you become eligible for full retirement benefits and medicare insurance at the age of 65, as well as disability insurance. You employer also pays 7.5% FICA tax. -DJ Craig No one is forced to become a citizen, although citizenship status gives security to the person that a H-1B or H-2B visa does not. A U.S. citizen cannot be deported, however a permanent resident can be. A citizen has all the rights granted under the U.S. Constitution, a "PR" rights can be subjected to definition as outlined by USCIS regulations. A citizen can campaign and hold certain political offices, can own business that a "PR" would not be able to own, and so forth. There are many advantages to being a citizen of the U.S., the right to vote is obviously an important one, but definitely not the only one.

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