Should you get a green card or become a citizen?

On Behalf of | Aug 3, 2022 | Immigration |

If you wish to live and work in the United States on a permanent basis, you will need to either secure a green card or become a citizen. But you may wonder which one is the right option for you.

US immigration explains each option comes with its own benefits and duties. Understanding these can help you to decide what works for your situation.


The biggest difference between citizenship and a green card is that a citizen enjoys many rights that the law reserves only for those who have pledged allegiance to the country or earned through birthright. While both citizens and green card holders enjoy protections under the law, only citizens can vote or become the president. In addition, they also reserve the right to serve on juries


One of the key differences between the two options is travel permissions. Citizens can freely move in and out of the United States. They often can go to various countries without having to secure a visa, and they can hold a U.S. passport.

Green card holders cannot get a U.S. passport and do not enjoy the ability to travel without a visa. In addition, if a person leaves the country for more than one year, they could lose their green card. They must first secure a permit.

After holding a green card, a person has the right to try to become a citizen. So, if you are torn on which option to choose, you can always secure a green card and then later make the decision to become a citizen.