Naturalization

Definition


Naturalization is the process through which United States government confers citizenship upon a foreign citizen or national after he or she fulfills the requirements established by Congress in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).

Most people become U.S. citizens in one of two ways:
  • By birth, either within the territory of the United States or to U.S. citizen parents, or
  • By Naturalization.

In addition, in 2000, Congress passed the Child Citizenship Act (CCA), which allows any child under the age of 18 who is adopted by a U.S. citizen and immigrates to the United States to acquire immediate citizenship.


XIV Amendment to the U.S. Constitution:


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. No state shall make or enforce any law, which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

General Naturalization Requirements


The general requirements for administrative naturalization include:
  • a period of continuous residence and physical presence in the United States;
  • residence in a particular USCIS District prior to filing;
  • an ability to read, write, and speak English;
  • a knowledge and understanding of U.S. history and government;
  • good moral character;
  • attachment to the principles of the U.S. Constitution; and,
  • favorable disposition toward the United States.




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