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The Benefits of Becoming a U.S. Citizen

Video transcript:

VOICE: Every year some 700,000 people become U.S. citizens at naturalization ceremonies across the country. By taking the Oath of Allegiance you pledge to be faithful to the Constitution and to serve your new country when needed. In exchange you will enjoy many of the benefits and privileges [CHEERING] of being a citizen of the United States.

OFFICIAL: Well one of the most obvious benefits is the ability to vote. Only U.S. Citizens are allowed to vote in federal elections and in most state and local elections.

VOICE: In addition, children of new citizens who are under the age of 18 are automatically given U.S. citizenship. They also enjoy special privileges when it comes to bringing other family members to the country.

OFFICIAL: Permanent residents can bring family members to the United States, but the benefit of being a U.S. citizen is that U.S. citizens get priority when they want to bring immediate family members permanently to the United States.

VOICE: The United States protects its citizens abroad through its embassies and consulates, and that is another benefit of taking the Oath of Allegiance. The U.S. Government offers assistance to victims of crime overseas and can also assist with information on what to do if there is an emergency in the country you are visiting or living.

Other benefits include working for the federal government, the right to be a member of a federal jury, and access to certain types of academic scholarships available only to U.S. citizens.

There are several requisites to becoming a US citizen. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Servicesí website has several resources that can help you with the process.

OFFICIAL: Two major things that you can do: one, go to our website where we have all kinds of study materials. Or you can also attend one of our naturalization workshops which we run at offices throughout the country.

VOICE: This video was produced by USA.gov in collaboration with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.

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