How to Obtain US Citizenship: How to Become a US Citizen?

Making the decision to become a US citizen can be one of the most important decisions in a person's life. If you decide to apply to become a US citizen, you will be demonstrating your commitment to the country and your adherence to its Constitution. In exchange, you are granted all of the rights and privileges associated with US citizenship through naturalization. This is how you become a citizen of the United States!

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How to Apply for US Citizenship

Every year, thousands of people prepare for and complete all of the necessary steps to become US citizens. The process of becoming a US citizen is also known as the Naturalization process. There are different requirements for those who wish to become citizens at birth, after birth, or through naturalization, which consists of ten steps. Here's everything you need to know about the US naturalization test, as well as the benefits of becoming a US citizen!

The US Naturalization Examination

You must pass the naturalization test to become a naturalized U.S. citizen. You will be asked questions about your application and background during your naturalization interview. Unless you qualify for an exemption or waiver, you will also be required to take an English and civics test.

If you fail the test, you will be given two chances to retake the English and civics tests, as well as to answer all questions about your naturalization application in English. If you fail any of the tests during your initial interview, you will be retested on the portion of the test you failed (English or civics) between 60 and 90 days after your initial interview.

Civic Examination

The civics exam covers basic U.S. history and government knowledge. Applicants may be granted a waiver if they have a medically determinable physical or mental impairment that interferes with their ability to learn and/or understand the pertinent information. Additionally, applicants who have been legally residing in the United States for more than twenty years and are over the age of 65 may be given special consideration on this test.

Citizenship via Parents

Citizenship through U.S. citizen parents can be obtained in two ways: at birth and after birth but before the age of 18. Congress has enacted laws governing how citizenship is conveyed to children born outside of the United States by a U.S. citizen parent(s). Who Might Be Eligible? The law in effect at the time of birth determines whether a person born outside the United States to a U.S. citizen parent(s) is a U.S. citizen at the time of birth. In general, these laws require that at least one parent be a US citizen and that the US citizen parent has lived in the US for a period of time.

A child for the purposes of citizenship and naturalization is an unmarried person who is: the genetic, legitimated, or adopted son or daughter of a U.S. citizen; or the son or daughter of a non-genetic gestational U.S. citizen mother who is recognized as the child's legal parent by the relevant jurisdiction.

About This Author

Philip Diack is Founder and Managing Director of Passports and, a national passport and travel visa service with offices in Atlanta, Miami, Washington, DC, NYC, Denver and San Francisco.

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