If you have been in the country on a green card as an authorized permanent resident, you may be considering whether you need to renew your green card or if you want to apply for citizenship. When you're weighing your options, it is important that you understand what makes citizenship a great alternative.

Here are some of the benefits of applying for citizenship instead of renewing your green card status. 

Gain The Right To Vote

When you are in the country on a green card, you have legal status as a permanent resident but you do not have the legal right to vote in elections. If you want the right to vote and have a say in the governing of the country, you'll need to become a citizen instead. Only naturalized citizens and citizens by birth retain the right to vote in elections.

Can Serve On A Jury

When you are interested in participating in civic duties, including serving on a jury, you will need to obtain citizenship instead of lawful resident status. Not only are citizens eligible to serve on a jury, but it is also considered their civic duty. If you want to be able to serve on a jury and contribute to the judicial process, you need to have citizenship.

Can Bring Family Members To The U.S.

If you have family members still living in your country of origin, you may want to bring them to the United States to be with you. As a permanent lawful resident, you cannot sponsor them to come here. If, on the other hand, you decide to become a U.S. citizen, you can then bring your family members from your origin country to live here with you.

Access To Federal Jobs

If you work in a field that is in demand by the government, you may be surprised to find that many jobs with the federal government require you to be a U.S. citizen. If you are interested in working a federal job to advance your career, you will need to trade in that Green Card for citizenship instead.

Gaining Citizenship For Your Children

If you have minor children that you've brought to the country with you, they will automatically obtain citizenship when you do. Any of your children who are over 18 by the time you obtain citizenship must pass the naturalization tests themselves, though.

These are some of the many reasons why green card holders opt for citizenship instead of permanent lawful resident status. Consider taking your citizenship naturalization test instead of renewing your green card.

Reach out to an immigration attorney near you to learn more.