Citizenship and how to obtain citizenship is important to most immigrants. For that reason, those seeking citizenship, and their families, should be familiar with how citizenship can be obtained.
How to obtain citizenship
In general, United States citizenship is conferred by birth or by being born to at least one U.S. citizen parent even if the citizen is born anywhere in the world. Immigrants who do not qualify for citizenship through either of these methods can obtain citizenship through the naturalization process.
Requirements for Naturalization
There are several requirements the immigrant seeking citizenship must meet to qualify for naturalization including:
- Entry, residence and physical presence: to qualify for naturalization, the applicant must lawfully enter the United State and gain permanent resident status. After becoming a permanent legal resident, the applicant must continuously reside in the United States for 5 years.
- Age requirements: to qualify for naturalization, the applicant must be at least 18 years old.
- Literacy and education: In general, to qualify for naturalization, the applicant must be able to understand, speak, read and write basic English. The applicant must also demonstrate basic knowledge of civics including knowledge of U.S. history, politics and government.
- Moral character: to qualify for naturalization, the applicant must possess good moral character through their residence in the United States.
- Attachment to constitutional principles: to qualify for naturalization, the applicant must demonstrate that they have attached to the principles of the constitution.
- Other of allegiance to the United States: to qualify for naturalization, the applicant must swear an oath of allegiance to the United States and renounce allegiance to any other country.
Immigrant families should understand the process of obtaining citizenship. Knowing how citizenship can be obtained can help immigrants and their family more successfully navigate the process.