American citizenship or nationality

It is the status of a natural person as a legal member of the United States. It involves rights, privileges, immunities, and economic benefits including federal assistance.

Under the Citizenship Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution, a person is an American citizen automatically upon birth in the United States, upon birth in another country to U.S. parents or grandparents, or upon birth in another country through a legal process. of nationalization.

American nationality is not defined by the obligation to participate in politics, pay taxes, obey the laws, serve in the military, or vote in elections, although citizens can participate in politics or join the military if they wish. , but rather nationality is a legal bond that identifies a person with a set of rights, including the right to live and work in the United States, as well as receive government services.

The government agency in charge of processing applications for US naturalization of foreigners is the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (abbreviated as USCIS). The majority of people who undergo a naturalization process do so to obtain permission to live and work in the country legally.

To apply for U.S. citizenship, a foreign national must have legally resided in the United States for five years (three if married to a U.S. citizen), must have committed no crimes, must be a person of “good moral character” in the judgment of officials immigration, you must take an English language and civics knowledge test and accept your adherence to the United States Constitution.

US law allows for dual citizenship, so US citizens are allowed to hold the nationality of another country at the same time.

The government can order the loss of a person's US nationality or any citizen can renounce US nationality. Once a person's US citizenship has been removed, it is possible to restore it.

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You may be eligible for Naturalization if:

  • You have been a permanent resident for at least 5 years and meet all other eligibility requirements. Please visit the General Pathway for Naturalization page for additional information.
  • You have been a permanent resident for 3 or more years and meet all eligibility requirements to apply for naturalization as the spouse of a U.S. citizen. See the Spouses of US Citizens link.
  • You are on active duty in the United States Armed Forces and meet all other eligibility requirements necessary to process naturalization.
  • Your son or daughter may be eligible for naturalization if you are a U.S. citizen, the son or daughter was born outside the United States, the son or daughter currently resides outside the United States, and you meet the other eligibility requirements.

Note: You could be a United States citizen if your parent (biological or adoptive) obtained US citizenship before you turned 18 years of age. Contact us for more information.

The Value of Citizenship

The United States has a long history of welcoming immigrants from all over the world. America values ​​the contributions of immigrants who have enriched this country and preserved the heritage of freedom and opportunity for all.

The decision to become a United States citizen is one of the most important decisions in a person's life. If you decide to apply for U.S. citizenship, you will demonstrate your commitment to the United States and your loyalty to the Constitution. In exchange, you will be granted all the rights and privileges of American citizenship.

The Naturalization Exam

Most people applying for naturalization must take a naturalization exam to demonstrate knowledge of:

  • The English language
  • Civics (history and government) of the United States.

To apply for naturalization, submit Form N-400, Application for Naturalization.


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