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-   -   Benefits of becoming a US citizen (https://britishexpats.com/forum/usa-57/benefits-becoming-us-citizen-919415/)

reltub Nov 19th 2018 5:56 pm

Benefits of becoming a US citizen
 
I am interested to learn the perceived pros and cons of converting from being a permanent resident to becoming a US citizen.

I have lived in the US for over 20 years, am married to an American, we dont have children, and I have held a green card and permanent residency for the past 12 years. With the recent threats around the status of Green Card holders who take state benefits ( does this include Medicare and SS?) I have started to wonder if I should apply for citizenship, so wanted to get peoples views on the benefits and downsides of doing so, Thanks in advance.

christmasoompa Nov 19th 2018 6:31 pm

Re: Benefits of becoming a US citizen
 

Rete Nov 19th 2018 6:32 pm

Re: Benefits of becoming a US citizen
 
Thanks, oompa ... I was just going to link the wiki. People forget the resources available here on the forum. Loads of valuable information to be had at a keystroke or two.

BTW are you watching FOX news? What threats to Permanent Residents have been made by the political powers that be? None that I'm aware of. Threats to illegals. Threats to dreamers. But to PR's none unless you mean the already in place threats such as losing your residency due to certain criminal acts and convictions, living outside of the US for a year or more, etc. The benefits you mentioned are not means tested benefits. You paid into social security and are therefore eligible for retirement and disability payments and also to medicare at the age of 65. Now if you listed mediCAID, welfare, food stamps, section 8 housing, etc. then yes, those have always been a 'threat' but first to the financial sponsor.

BenK91 Nov 19th 2018 6:42 pm

Re: Benefits of becoming a US citizen
 

Originally Posted by Rete (Post 12595888)
Thanks, oompa ... I was just going to link the wiki. People forget the resources available here on the forum. Loads of valuable information to be had at a keystroke or two.

BTW are you watching FOX news? What threats to Permanent Residents have been made by the political powers that be? None that I'm aware of. Threats to illegals. Threats to dreamers. But to PR's none unless you mean the already in place threats such as losing your residency due to certain criminal acts and convictions, living outside of the US for a year or more, etc. The benefits you mentioned are not means tested benefits. You paid into social security and are therefore eligible for retirement and disability payments and also to medicare at the age of 65. Now if you listed mediCAID, welfare, food stamps, section 8 housing, etc. then yes, those have always been a 'threat' but first to the financial sponsor.

:goodpost:

I can't say I've seen any threats to PR's, I believe there's going to be a bit more scrutiny on I-485's but that's not necessarily a bad thing either.

lansbury Nov 19th 2018 7:09 pm

Re: Benefits of becoming a US citizen
 
If you become a citizen you are protected against any future detrimental changes to immigration law. You can come and go as you please whenever you want. For those reasons both Mrs L and I have dual nationalities. As it happens after we left the UK for the US, the UK changed the requirements for spouses to move to the UK which as Mrs L took UK nationality are not something we need to think about if we were to move back. If the UK can change immigration requirements the US could just as easily do so, who knows what the future holds. Also there are no time constraints on how long we can visit.

Cons - apart from a life long requirement to do US tax returns, and disclose overseas financial accounts, I haven’t found any. Not that those requirements are arduous and something you would be doing as a PR.

celticgrid Nov 19th 2018 7:21 pm

Re: Benefits of becoming a US citizen
 
One benefit not often mentioned, but one I stumbled over during some research on who fits what status on ITAR regulations [yawn]

Under employment law you would become a protected person. You start as a protected person as a PR, but once you are entitled to naturalize, if you choose not to, you lose that protected person status. You get it back when / if you naturalize.

A trivial difference, but a difference!

Rete Nov 19th 2018 10:05 pm

Re: Benefits of becoming a US citizen
 
What is ITAR regulations?

Googled it. Don't think many have to worry about The International Trafficking of Arms Regulations in the course of their employment.

reltub Nov 19th 2018 10:31 pm

Re: Benefits of becoming a US citizen
 
Thanks for the input and link to the other doc - not sure why it didn't come up when I searched.

Rete - I do watch Fox,...and CNN and MSNBC, and read the Guardian, the Huff Post, the Daily Beast, the WSJ and Breitbart News .There has certainly been broad mention of additional potential (legal) threats to Permanent Residents, although how much is just stricter enforcement of existing laws is unclear.

"Under current interpretation, green-card holders may become deportable as public charges only if they use cash welfare or are institutionalized in long-term care funded by the government. (Under the welfare law, they can only be deported as public charges within their first five years of U.S. residency.) If implemented as written in the leaked executive order, legal immigrants could be ordered deported for using a wide variety of benefits, potentially including food and nutrition assistance, federally subsidized health insurance through Medicaid or the ACA, and education benefits"

Medicaid is specifically called out here but I have also seen Social Security mentioned elsewhere.

Trump May Try to Deport Legal Immigrants Who Get Benefits
https://www.miamiherald.com/news/loc...214844345.html
https://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/...htmlstory.html

BritInParis Nov 19th 2018 11:00 pm

Re: Benefits of becoming a US citizen
 
If you’ve made your home in the US and will continue to live there then there are only advantages to becoming a citizen, no possibility of deportation, voting rights and consular assistance abroad to name three.

Rete Nov 19th 2018 11:05 pm

Re: Benefits of becoming a US citizen
 

Originally Posted by reltub (Post 12595986)
Thanks for the input and link to the other doc - not sure why it didn't come up when I searched.

Rete - I do watch Fox,...and CNN and MSNBC, and read the Guardian, the Huff Post, the Daily Beast, the WSJ and Breitbart News .There has certainly been broad mention of additional potential (legal) threats to Permanent Residents, although how much is just stricter enforcement of existing laws is unclear.

"Under current interpretation, green-card holders may become deportable as public charges only if they use cash welfare or are institutionalized in long-term care funded by the government. (Under the welfare law, they can only be deported as public charges within their first five years of U.S. residency.) If implemented as written in the leaked executive order, legal immigrants could be ordered deported for using a wide variety of benefits, potentially including food and nutrition assistance, federally subsidized health insurance through Medicaid or the ACA, and education benefits"

Medicaid is specifically called out here but I have also seen Social Security mentioned elsewhere.

Trump May Try to Deport Legal Immigrants Who Get Benefits
https://www.miamiherald.com/news/loc...214844345.html
https://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/...htmlstory.html

It is the application of an existing law. It is nothing new. All those benefits are to be denied to a PR who has not gained 40 quarters/10 years of work under social security, or became a US Citizen, or .... The obtain permanent residency status based on marriage you needed a financial sponsor. That FS is primarily the spouse and if the spouse cannot fulfill the requirements at the time of the interview of residency, you can have a joint sponsor. At that time the I-864 tells you that means tested benefits may be asked to be repaid by the FS. The benefits you have spoken of are means tested benefits and the cases, yes, I have read the papers also, were PR's who sought Medicaid assistance, housing assistance, food stamps, and other means tested benefits. Social security benefits are funded by contributions by the employed and the employer plus the increase that money would have earned if congress hadn't dipped their paws into it to pay Peter.

Some of the papers, sites, news stations you listed are dubious, i.e. FOX, the Guardian, Huffington ... they are more fear mongering than factual. But becoming a citizen is easy and if you read the link that Christmasoompa gave you, you will see the pros and cons and can make a decision based on your thoughts and not the thoughts of someone who is bias as news reporters are.

Rete Nov 19th 2018 11:09 pm

Re: Benefits of becoming a US citizen
 
I can't understand why someone would live in a country for 20 years and not already have become a citizen. It's a long holiday with not much in terms of benefits.

durham_lad Nov 20th 2018 4:47 pm

Re: Benefits of becoming a US citizen
 

Originally Posted by reltub (Post 12595872)
I am interested to learn the perceived pros and cons of converting from being a permanent resident to becoming a US citizen.

I have lived in the US for over 20 years, am married to an American, we dont have children, and I have held a green card and permanent residency for the past 12 years. With the recent threats around the status of Green Card holders who take state benefits ( does this include Medicare and SS?) I have started to wonder if I should apply for citizenship, so wanted to get peoples views on the benefits and downsides of doing so, Thanks in advance.

Do you realize that “converting” to a US Citizen does not, in most cases, mean giving up your existing citizenship. The USA allows dual citizenship as does the UK and many other countries.

Given that you have lived in the USA for 20 years and are married to an American then the only con I can see against becoming a USC is the lifelong requirement to pay US taxes regardless of where you live, and even that is reversible should the need ever arise.

dave2702 Nov 21st 2018 7:38 pm

Re: Benefits of becoming a US citizen
 
I became a citizen when it was pointed out to me that Citizenship was faster than renewing my Green Card and only needs to be done once

Another thought that entered my head was a recent case of some Michigan Permanent Resident who was facing deportation after two historical misdemeanors . Whether he ultimately gets deported or not, he's spending a lot of time in Immigration Court & Detention

It kind of brought it home to me that all Permanent Residents are one really bad day away from being deported


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