United States Citizenship
There are four ways of becoming a United States Citizen
- The Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution provides that anyone born in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction of the United States is a United States Citizen by Birth. There is however an exception for children born to high-ranking foreign diplomats in the United States having full diplomatic immunity and not subject to the Jurisdiction of the United States. These children do not fall within the provisions of the 14th Amendment and are not Citizens or Nationals of the United States. They are however, eligible for Lawful Permanent Residents Status .
- Person(s) who are born in another country to parents who are United States Citizens may, depending on the fulfillment of the requirement of the law, become United States Citizens at birth through Acquisition of United States Citizenship.
- A person can become United States Citizens through a process called “Naturalization.
- Persons who are Lawful Permanent Residents of the United States and whose parent or parents are United States Citizens through Naturalization or through acquisition of Citizenship, may, depending on fulfillment of certain legal requirements of the law become United States Citizens through derivation of Citizenship.
Benefits of becoming a United States Citizen
There are many advantages to becoming a United States Citizen. Some of these include:
- The right to vote in United States Elections,
- The right to travel with a United States passport.
- The right to help relatives Immigrate to the United States.
- The right to obtain government jobs.
- The right to hold public office.
- The right to obtain certain government benefits.
- The right not to be excluded /removed /deported from the United States
- The right to live in another country without losing the right to legally return to the United States.
- The right to obtain Citizenship for Children born abroad.
Responsibilities of Citizens
United state Citizens are required to:
- Have allegiance to the United States;
- Support and defend the Constitution & Laws of the United States;
- Serve the country when required.
- Participate in the political process by registering and voting in elections.
- Serve on a jury ,etc
Pitfalls of Applying for U.S Citizenship
- An Applicant for Naturalization could be removed/ deported from the United States if information on the Applicant’s Naturalization Application N-400 lets the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) know that the Applicant is removable. A Lawful Permanent Resident can be subject to removal/deportation for a number of reasons.
- Some countries restrict foreigners (including naturalized United States Citizens) from ownership of property. Becoming a US Citizen may affect Property rights in Native Country.
- Some Country do not allow for dual Citizenship and becoming a U.S citizen may result in losing Citizenship in native country. However, some countries allow for dual Citizenship.
- The Naturalization process can be overwhelming and intimidating for some Applicants.
- Some Applicants with limited education or knowledge of English language may have difficulty in preparing and passing the Naturalization examination.
Becoming a United States Citizen is not the best path for everyone who is a Lawful Permanent Resident. For some, becoming a United States Citizenship may mean giving up Citizenship in their own country. For others, the Naturalization Application may actually start an investigation by USCIS into their past that could lead to their removal from the United States.
Applying for United states Citizenship requires careful planning and evaluation so that the Ultimate goal of becoming a U.S citizen can be achieved without the process become a nightmare.