Citizenship is a privilege many Americans are born with, but for those seeking to become naturalized in the United States, it often becomes a daunting task.
The application process is not only extensive, but also costly. To file an application for naturalization it costs $595 with an additional biometric fee included of $85 for a total of $680.
Additionally, the cost of assistance and guidance throughout this process can cost up to $1,000, making the final price $1,680, an amount the average immigrant may not be able to afford.
The application may take about four months to be processed and for someone to receive an appointment for an interview with an immigration reformer.
Once individuals are approved to become a citizen it may take two more months to be called into a ceremony to be sworn in to become a citizen of the U.S. After six months and an extensive process, a person is finally able to vote.
As silly as it sounds, the privilege of voting and receiving other rights does not come easy to those who are not born in this country. They have to work hard to first obtain their legal residence, wait a couple of years for approval and go through this process again with the naturalization application.
Legal permanent residents must renew their residency every 10 years paying $450 every time. At this cost it is often recommended to pay for the application of naturalization, but even with the slight price increase, it is hard for people to pay the price difference.
While it can be argued the only benefit of being a citizen is the privilege to vote, it is much more than that when you are a student looking for scholarships to pay for college.
But if you have no funds to pay for the application in the first place, those opportunities disappear and are no longer as easily available.
Many families have more than one member applying for naturalization, and because the application is so expensive, it is impossible to file for everyone at once.
Many Americans do not take into consideration all of the amazing opportunities they have not only to vote but also attend a higher-education institution, and simply accept it as an option.
There are so many people who wish they had one chance to be able to travel to the U.S. and take full advantage of the opportunities that current citizens already have, yet many do not appreciate because it took no effort for them to have been born in the U.S.
As a permanent legal resident, individuals qualify for many scholarships and even to be able to receive financial aid from the government, but scholarships are often limited.
In order to fully take advantage of the many opportunities the government has to offer, the government should reduce the price of the application, allowing many more legal permanent residents to enjoy the many opportunities they gain through citizenship.
We would have many more educated people willing to contribute much more to society and many more voters that would like to make their voice heard.
The application process is already extensive enough, therefore, lowering the price of what it takes to begin the process, would not only grant many the privilege of voting, but also give them opportunity to obtain a higher education.