How does a person become a U.S. citizen?

On Behalf of | Mar 16, 2021 | Naturalization and Citizenship

United States citizenship brings with it certain rights and privileges. There are different paths that Michigan residents can take to become U.S. citizens, and this post will generally discuss them. When an individual is prepared to begin the process of becoming a citizen of the United States, they can seek the counsel and support of an immigration attorney. Professionals who work in this field are prepared to manage the many legal matters that may arise during a person’ quest to becoming a citizen of the country.

Citizenship at birth: Paths to citizenship

Many U.S. citizens become citizens when they are born. This can happen two different ways. One way is through birth on United States soil. When a person’s birthplace is the United States then they become a U.S. citizen.

The second way a person can become a U.S. citizen at birth is through the citizenship of their parents. If at least one of a person’s parents is a U.S. citizen, the person is a U.S. citizen as well. The person can be born anywhere in the world and still become a U.S. citizen as long as one of their parents is as well.

Citizenship through naturalization

If a person is not born a U.S. citizen, they must become one later in life. The process of becoming a citizen is called naturalization and involves many steps. One step involves legal presence in the United States. A person must live in the country legally for a period of years before they can seek to become a citizen.

Once a person satisfies the legal residence requirement, they must show that they meet educational, moral, and allegiance standards. They must pass literacy and knowledge tests, show that they are of good moral character, and take an oath to the United States of America. It can take years for an individual to complete their citizenship process through naturalization.

Naturalization to citizenship is a rigorous legal process. It can be difficult to manage on one’s own. Immigration attorneys are a valuable source of information and support for individuals pursuing the naturalization to citizenship process.