Generally, citizenship happens in two ways. Either one is born in the country, or the person is naturalized. The Naturalization process is entirely administered by the federal government and the same agency that is in charge of controlling illegal immigration and border protection. Many people have lived in the U.S. for decades without issue, working and paying taxes, and not really feeling a need to take the next step. However, citizenship does fully commit one to the U.S. and provides added rights and protections. First, you gain the ability to vote, a fundamental right of a citizen. Second, your travel becomes less restricted within and in and out of the U.S. That’s because citizens are given preference, no surprise, by U.S. border control. Third, your legal status in terms of civil rights becomes a bit stronger, which really matters if you ever need to deal with the immigration court. And finally, you have the ability to assert citizenship status for education, work, scholarship eligibility, medical assistance, social security benefits and much more. So it’s really a good idea to take the final step and become a citizen if you have a well-established permanent residence in the U.S.