How To Become A US Citizen Based On Common Ways
You can become a US citizen either at birth or later in your life. First you must be qualified for certain conditions.
To submit your application for U.S. citizenship, you must meet the following eligibility criteria:
-Be at least 18 years old
-Have lived in the U.S. as a Green Card holder for a certain number of years
-Have established your residency in the same state or district where you intend to apply
-Be able to prove your “good moral character”
-Demonstrate adequate knowledge of U.S. history, customs and the English language
-Register your willingness to perform civil services if required (only for male applicants)
-Swear obedience to the Constitution of the United States.
Citizenship in the United States is conferred automatically on anyone born in the country (including the territories of Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Northern Mariana Islands) under US law. Children whose parents are foreign diplomats or belong to a sovereign Native American tribe are exempt.
“All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.”
Given that the majority of Americans were born here, this is undoubtedly the most common route to citizenship. The next three avenues deal with how non-citizens can become citizens.
One of the following requirements must be met in order for you to have obtained citizenship at the time of your birth:
-You were born in the U.S. or territories subject to the jurisdiction of the United States
-If you were born abroad to at least one parent who was already an American citizen at the time of your birth
I-f you do not meet any of these requirements for U.S. citizenship, you can seek this status later.
Under certain conditions, a child who was born outside of the United States automatically “acquires” citizenship. In addition to a few other requirements, the child must be born to at least one citizen of the United States. The children born to this child who marries may also become citizens of the United States at birth. A child can acquire U.S. citizenship through the following general methods:
Both parents were U.S. citizens
requires that at least one parent must have resided in the United States, one of its territories, or both before the child was born, and that both parents must have been married and citizens of the United States at the time of the child’s birth.
One parent was a U.S. citizen
requires that the child be born on or after November 14, 1986, that at least one of the parents be a citizen of the United States, that the parent who is a citizen of the United States be physically present in the United States or its territories for a minimum of five years at some point in their life prior to the birth, with at least two of those years occurring after the parent turned fourteen.
One parent was a U.S. citizen
Demands that at least one of the child’s parents be a citizen of the United States; additionally, the child must have been born before November 14, 1986, but after October 10, 1952; the child’s parents must have been married at the time of the birth; and the parent who is a citizen of the United States must have been physically present in the United States or its territories for at least ten years at some point in their lives before the child was born, at least five of those years occurring after the parent turned 14 years old.
A child can obtain citizenship through their parent’s naturalization as a citizen of the United States, a process known as derivative citizenship. In essence, any children born to a parent who was born outside of the United States and later obtained U.S. citizenship may also become citizens. This also holds true for parents who have gained naturalization and adopt non-citizen children.
How Derivative Citizenship Works
A child will become a citizen if they are under eighteen, have a green card when their parent gets one, and reside with their parent. Adopted children must be adopted before the age of eighteen and have a green card upon their parent’s naturalization in order for them to become citizens. The adopted child cannot get married, and the adoptive parent must also have custody of the child.
Getting Proof of Citizenship
As long as your child satisfies the requirements, you can apply for proof of citizenship by submitting USCIS Form N-600 if you require it. This is the Citizenship Certificate Application. Documentation proving the parent’s U.S. citizenship as well as the child’s identity, immigration status, and parent-child relationship will also be required. A birth certificate or an adoption decree will attest to this.
During your interview for U.S. citizenship, the USCIS officer will inquire about your application and your intention to settle in the country.
Since both tests are scheduled for the same day, you should focus on studying for your citizenship trial in order to be fully prepared for this examination.
The following documentation is required for your naturalization interview:
→ Your Green Card
→ Your ID
→ Your travel records, including your passports (as well as your expired ones)
→ Original copies of documents assessing your current and previous marital status
→ IDs of your dependents (if applicable)
→ Your federal income tax returns for the past five years
→ Proof of your permanent residence in the U.S.
→ Proof of your registration to the Military and Civil Service
→ Court, police or prison records (if applicable)
→ Documents that can prove your “good moral character”
The naturalization ceremony is the final step in the citizenship process in the U.S.
If your naturalization application is approved, you will attend a ceremony to:
Take the Oath of Allegiance
Return your permanent residence card (green card)
Receive your Certificate of Naturalization
Every field office may have a different naturalization ceremony. Typically, a number of candidates will show up simultaneously for a naturalization ceremony.
You will typically take the Oath of Allegiance during the oath ceremony. It will be necessary for you to stand up, lift your right hand, and say the Oath of Allegiance. At the conclusion of the ceremony, you will receive your certificate of naturalization.
Oath of Allegiance
The Oath of Allegiance is a formal promise you have to take before you can become a U.S. citizen.
Your naturalization oath ceremony’s date, time, and location will be listed on an appointment notice that you will receive. Typically, the oath ceremony takes place in the same location as your naturalization interview.
The oath ceremony and your naturalization interview may occasionally take place on the same day. You will receive a notice in the mail with the date, time, and location of your scheduled ceremony if you do not receive an appointment that day.
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