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What are the benefits of becoming a U.S. citizen?

For immigrants who are living in Florida and throughout the United States, the pathway to citizenship may appear quite daunting. However, once a person becomes an American citizen, he or she can experience many benefits as outlined in the U.S. Constitution and federal laws. As part of the naturalized process, prospective citizens are required to take the Oath of Allegiance before they can enjoy the privileges and benefits of citizenship. In the oath, they promise to swear allegiance to the United States of America, which entails resigning any former allegiance to another government or nation. Moreover, they promise to uphold and protect the U.S. Constitution and laws and to serve to the country when necessary.

Some of the benefits an American citizen has a right to enjoy include voting privileges in state and federal elections and traveling freedoms and protections via a U.S. passport. Citizenship also gives a person greater abilities in petitioning immediate family members such as spouses, parents and underage children to enter the United States permanently. Any dependent child of a person becoming a citizen is automatically deemed a U.S. citizen as well, even if the child is outside the country.

Besides the responsibilities of the Oath of Allegiance, citizens are urged to honor the freedoms and privileges of their citizenship and respect and tolerate other cultures and nationalities within the country. They are furthermore urged to become involved within their local communities and answer to the call of jury duty.

Individuals who are desirous of obtaining U.S. citizenship or citizens who want to know how they can acquire visas for their immediate relatives may benefit by speaking with an immigration attorney. Since the naturalization process can be complicated, experienced counsel can be helpful throughout the process.

Source: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, "A Guide to Naturalization", accessed on Jan. 12, 2015

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