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How Does a Person Become a US Citizen?

The American Citizenship ProcessGenerally, a person can become a citizen of a country by being born to parents who are citizens of that particular country or by his birth in that country. This also applies to the people who seek to become citizens of the United States. However, foreign nationals can become US citizens by naturalization, a legal process that allows people who meet certain requirements to become US citizens. Nevertheless, the simplest way to obtain citizenship could be by birth as the individuals who are born on US soil may not be required to file petitions to obtain documents to prove that they are US citizens and they can use their birth certificates to prove their citizenship status.

Similarly, individuals born to US citizens, abroad also can claim US citizenship and they can acquire citizenship from their parents. However, in this case, they need to go through some paperwork and obtain US citizenship certificates as their birth certificates will be from foreign countries. Individuals whose parents are not US citizens and people who were not born within America must go through the naturalization process, that is quite complicated. To apply for naturalization, a foreign national must prove that he has been living in America as a Green Card holder for more than 5 long years and there are few other requirements that must be met by individuals who seek to obtain US citizenship through naturalization.

A person must first become a Green Card holder, in order to apply for US citizenship and must be above age 18. Similarly, he must have held his Green Card for at least five years and he must file his naturalization application in the American state where he has been living for the past three months. Apart from that, he must have been a continuous resident, that is, he must not have lived in a foreign country for two years or more, within that five year period. Likewise, he must not travel abroad after filing Form N-400 and must reside within America until he receives his naturalization certificate. Language skills are mandatory as a person who seeks to obtain US citizenship must be good in English and must know enough about the American history.

Foreign nationals who meet all the above mentioned requirements must possess good moral character and if the applicant is not a decent person and if he has a criminal background, his naturalization application will not be accepted. Hence, individuals who meet the key criteria for naturalization may go ahead and file Form N-400, Application for Naturalization. All the documents that would help the USCIS officers to determine that the applicant is eligible for US citizenship must be submitted along with the US citizenship application. Similarly, photographs that meet the specifications and the required form filing fee must accompany the naturalization application.

Followed by that, the applicants must submit biometrics information and attend naturalization interviews after they receive appointment notices. The US citizenship test that will be administered during the naturalization interview is more important and the applicants will become ineligible for US citizenship if they fail to get through the US citizenship test. Applicants who successfully go through the US citizenship process will be permitted to take the oath and they will be granted naturalization certificates.

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