CITIZENSHIP

Citizenship Through Naturalization:

Naturalization is the process by which U.S. citizenship is granted to a foreign citizen or national after he or she fulfills the requirements established by Congress in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). In most cases, an applicant for naturalization must be a permanent resident (green card holder) before filing.  Except for certain U.S. military members and their dependents, naturalization can only be granted in the United States.

Requirements:

Most applicants for naturalization must have been a permanent resident for 5 years and have not made trips outside the United States for more than 6 months. Persons who have served in the armed forces may qualify for less time. All persons must have a good moral character, have a knowledge of english and U.S. civics, and be willing to support and defend the United States and the U.S. Constitution.

Citizenship Through Parents:

Whether someone born outside the United States to a U.S. citizen parent or parents is a U.S. citizen depends on the law in effect when the person was born. These laws have changed over the years, but usually require a combination of at least one parent being a U.S. citizen when the child was born and having lived in the U.S. or its possessions for a period of time. Additionally, children born outside the United States may become citizens after birth based on their parent’s citizenship or naturalization.


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