A Brief Look at United States/American Citizenship
For many immigrants living in the U.S., becoming a citizen has been a lifelong dream. Some immigrants want to become U.S. citizens, but others are happy to stay in the country legally as permanent residents with their green cards. This is because immigrants don’t have to become U.S. citizens. It’s up to them if they want to.
There are different ways to become a citizen of the United States, both inside and outside the country.
American Citizenship by birth in the U.S
Anyone born in the United States and subject to the United States’s jurisdiction is automatically considered a citizen of the United States under the provisions of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. As a result, the right to citizenship is conferred upon such persons immediately and without the need for any action on their part.
Foreign diplomats’ children born in the U.S aren’t citizens.
High-ranking foreign diplomats stationed in the United States who are granted full diplomatic immunity are not subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, including their American-born children. Therefore, their kids do not meet the criteria for citizenship or nationality in the United States. Thus, the guarantees of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution do not apply to them. However, they can seek legal permanent resident status and eventually obtain a green card if they so choose.
Citizenship at Birth for Children Born Abroad to U.S. Citizen Parent(s)
Persons born in another country to parents who are United States Citizens or one of whom is a U.S. Citizen may acquire U.S. citizenship at birth if eligible. Despite being born abroad, these individuals are automatically granted citizenship. This is because they are natural-born citizens of the United States.
However, the rules that determine who becomes a U.S. citizen at birth outside the U.S. are complex and depend on the individual’s date of birth and the immigration law in effect at the time of delivery.
Citizenship in the United States by Naturalization after birth.
Lawful permanent residents in the United States who meet the legal requirements for Naturalization have the opportunity to become citizens of the United States through the naturalization process. In addition to the “normal” route, which requires waiting five years after obtaining permanent resident status, the Immigration and Nationality Act provides multiple means to Naturalization.
Derivation of U.S Citizenship through U.S Citizen Parent(s) after birth
Some children gain automatic U.S. citizenship when their parents become citizens or when the children become lawful permanent residents of the United States. The rules governing derivative Citizenship under the U.S immigration law vary depending on when the relevant event occurred.
Advantages of becoming a citizen of the United States
Being a citizen of the United States has many benefits. Among them are:
- Participate in U.S. Elections by voting.
- Travel to other countries with a U.S. passport.
- Assist non-US citizens’ relatives in immigrating to the U.S.
- Get federal government jobs and government benefits.
- Participate in the political process by holding a public office.
- Legal safeguards against being removed from the United States or deported.
- Residing abroad without jeopardizing one’s legal status upon reentry to the United States.
- Obtain Citizenship for Foreign-born Children. And a lot more.
Responsibilities of Citizens of the United States of America
Citizens of the United States are obligated to do the following:
- Demonstrate allegiance to the United States;
- Uphold and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States;
- Serve their nation when called upon to do so.
- Get involved in the political process by registering to vote and going to the polls.
- Participate in various juries, etc.
Concerns in Applying for U.S. Citizenship
Some immigrants risk applying for American Citizenship through Naturalization because the process allows the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to reopen and review the Immigrant’s file to check for disqualifications, mistakes, fraud, and misrepresentation in previous immigration benefits granted. A red flag that raises concerns about eligibility for Naturalization or past immigration benefits could lead to a nightmare.
Getting Deported While Trying to Become a Citizen
Becoming a U.S. citizen is not the best option for everyone who is a Lawful Permanent Resident. The Naturalization Application may trigger an investigation into the applicants’ immigration history by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
There are many grounds for removing a Lawful Permanent Resident from the country. During the Naturalization process, permanent residents of the United States with negative and deportable immigration issues that have not been resolved may be placed in deportation proceedings.
Loss of citizenship and property rights in native country as a result of becoming an American citizen
The right to property ownership is often denied to non-nationals in some nations, and this includes naturalized U.S. citizens. Therefore, it’s possible that acquiring U.S. citizenship will change your rights to property in your home country of origin.
Becoming a U.S. citizen can mean losing one’s Citizenship in one’s home country if the country in question does not permit dual Citizenship. Nevertheless, dual Citizenship is permissible in some countries.
Language and educational barriers to citizenship
The process of Naturalization is one of the ways that one can eventually become a citizen of the United States. Unfortunately, some immigrants in the United States may find this process overwhelming and intimidating. The naturalization process can be challenging for some immigrants, particularly those with limited education or less familiarity with English.
The process of acquiring and deriving Citizenship in the United States is complex under U.S law. Therefore, applying for or seeking evidence of American Citizenship requires careful planning and evaluation to achieve the ultimate goal of becoming a U.S. citizen or obtaining proof of such.
Related links about U.S Citizenship
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