Becoming an American citizen is something that a lot of people in the country are currently striving towards, particularly given the current political situation which has seen people who have been living in the USA for over twenty years being deported. Becoming a citizen is the easiest way to attain a lot of privileges and rights that are only given to citizens in the USA. Here are the four ways that you can become a citizen in the United States of America…

Naturalization

For people who were not born in the USA, naturalization is the most common way to become a USA citizen. The criteria are as follows: the applicant must be aged 18 or over, and they must have one of the following: 1), they must have been resident in the USA for the last five years, 2), they must be married to and living with an American citizen for at least three years, or 3), they must have served in the American Armed Forces for at least one year. Fulfilling one or more of these criteria is probably the easiest way to become an American citizen – talk to a law company like Hacking Law Practice if you want some more information on what exactly to do. If you want to become green card naturalized, you need to have held it for at least five years, have a good knowledge of American history and the English language, and to be a person of good moral character.

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Acquisition

It is possible for a child to have US citizenship even if she or he was born outside the country. If that’s the case, then the child needs to file an Application for Certificate of Citizenship. They can become a citizen if their parents were married US citizens, one of whom used to live in the USA; if their parents were married and they were born after 1986, with one parent (a USA citizen) resident in the USA for at least five years prior to the birth; and finally if the birth date was before 1986 and the parent, a US citizen, was resident in the US for at least ten years before the child’s birth.

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Derivation

Children aged under 18 can become US citizens if their parents naturalize. For this to be the case, the child must have a green card, one of their parents must be a US citizen, and the child needs to be living in the US in the custody of a US citizen.

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Birth

The fourteenth amendment to the US Constitution states ‘All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside’, which means that anyone who’s been born in the USA, including its territories such as Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Northern Mariana Islands, is automatically a citizen. Being born in the USA is obviously not something that you can choose for yourself, but you can be assured that if your kids are born in the USA they’ll have all the same privileges and rights as everyone else in the country.