In this article, I am going to show you a detailed process of becoming a US citizen and the types of citizenship practiced in the United State of America. You can agree with me that the US is the most dreamed country for most people in the world.
Becoming a citizen of the US could be very advantageous to most persons living in third-world countries. This is because the United State of America has tremendous privileges and benefits for everyone residing in the country.
The most authentic way of becoming a US citizen is by birth, but there are other ways to become a citizen which we are going to explain here. There are four major ways of becoming a US Citizen which is: citizenship by birth, Citizenship by derivation, Citizenship by Acquisition, and Citizenship by Naturalisation.
A good number of immigrants living in the United States attain citizenship through naturalisation.
Citizenship by Birth:
According to the constitution of the United State of America children born within the United State automatically become citizens. This, however, includes the territory of Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, and the Northern Mariana Islands. As I have identified earlier on, most Americans are born within US territory.
Citizenship by Acquisition:
The second most authentic way of acquiring US citizenship is by acquisition. A child automatically becomes a citizen here even though the child was born outside the United State. But at least, one of the parents must come from or be a citizen of the US. Even when this child marries and gives birth, the child also becomes a US Citizen. Thus, citizenship through acquisition also has three ways of obtaining it.
- Both parents were U.S. citizens: The citizenship by acquisition generally requires that both parents are citizens of the United State of America at the time of the child’s birth, and of course one of the parents lived or is still living in the US or its territories before the birth of the child.
- One Parent (Father) was a US Citizen: This process requires that the father of the child is a citizen of the United State of America at the time of the child’s birth. And that the parents were married before giving birth to the child, also the US citizen parent should be physically present in the United State of America for at least five years prior to the child’s birth.
- One Parent (Mother) was a US Citizen: This process requires that the mother of the child is a citizen of the United State of America at the time of the child’s birth. And that the parents were married before giving birth to the child, also the US citizen parent should be physically present in the United State of America for at least five years prior to the child’s birth.
For someone to get documentation from the US government as a citizen through any of the above methods, the applicant must file Form N 600, Application for Certificate of Citizenship. Over the years, laws have undergone several changes, therefore you will have to research the laws that were in place at the time of the child’s birth.
Citizenship by Naturalisation:
Citizenship by Naturalisation could be seen as a process through which an individual that is not given birth to in the United States can, and that is not qualified for the acquisition, can still become a citizen of the U.S. this particular type of citizen is the most common process through which people born in other countries become a U.S citizen.
To acquire citizenship through this process, there are several requirements that the individual must fulfill before he or she can apply. Most importantly, applicants must be 18 years old or above and must meet any of the following requirements:
- Must have live in the US at least 5 years as a permanent resident
- Should either be married to a US citizen for at least 3 years
- And should be serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.
However, the above are the most eligible ways of becoming a citizen through Naturalisation. They are the most common ways the majority of foreign-born citizens attain their citizenship.
Citizenship by Derivation:
This is the type of citizenship whereby a parent acquires citizenship through the process of naturalizing his or her child under 18 years of age and is still living with the parent at that particular time. Just as the name implies, “Derivation”, is derivative in the sense that the parent derives citizenship by the privilege of his or her child becoming a citizen of the United State of America. Good to note that the parent must be a permanent resident of the US.
Like other ways of becoming a citizen, citizenship by derivation. For any parent to naturalise his or her child, the child must meet the following requirements:
- The child must have the green card which is a lawful permanent resident status
- The child must be residing in the United State under the custody of the parent
- And finally one of the parents must be a US citizen.
Over the years the laws on the automatic naturalisation of children have undergone several reviews. Due to this effect, children cannot be derived from step-parents.
In addition to the above article, I am going to talk a little about dual citizenship or dual nationality. Dual citizenship refers to the process by which someone becomes a citizen of the United State and another country at the same time.
By law, the US government will not demand a citizen to choose particular citizenship. Importantly, you have to know that as a dual citizen, when you want to travel to or out of the United States you must use a US passport.
And it is also advisable to meet a licensed attorney who is a professional in citizenship matters to assist you.
Just as I have described, early becoming a citizen of the United State of America could be advantageous to most people from third world countries as they will enjoy privileges as citizens of the US. so, before applying for US citizenship, first, consider the above article to know the best citizenship process that will suit you.