An individual is called a US citizen, when he/she is a legal member of the United States. Being a US Citizen , the individual has many rights where he/she may obtain the Social Security and Medicare benefits on retirement. He also has the right to vote and choose a government. A US Citizen may obtain a US passport with which he may travel abroad to every country in the world. Also being a US Citizen provides the right to sponsor his/her family to enter US legally and help in obtaining Green Card / Permanent Resident Card.
Ways of obtaining US Citizenship:
There are three ways in which the individual may become a citizen.
*Being born in US makes the individual a US citizen automatically
*When the individual is born abroad to US Citizen parents, then he/she may claim US Citizenship through parents.
*If the individual is born outside US to non- us citizen, who has immigrated to United States may obtain US citizenship through Naturalization.
One way to become a citizen is through Naturalization. The process of an immigrant becoming a citizen of United States is called Naturalization. The individual must file citizenship form n400 to apply for naturalization.
An individual may qualify for Naturalization if:
– he/she is least 18 years of age
– has been a permanent resident for at least 5 years and meet all other eligibility requirements.
– has a permanent resident card for 3 years card and is married to a US Citizen
– is in a qualifying service in the U.S. armed forces and meet all other eligibility requirements.
To become a citizen, it is mandatory that the individual must live inside US for the required period of time to be eligible to apply for Naturalization. If the individual leaves the United States for too long, he/she may interrupt the Continuous Residence. If the individual leaves the United States for more than 6 months,but less than 1 year, he/she has broken or disrupted the continuous residence unless the individual can prove otherwise. Continuous Residence does not apply to some specific people who have served in the armed forces during designated periods of conflict.
In addition to these requirements the individual must be of a good moral character and must be clear from all criminal records.
Civics and English test :
Another requirement to become a citizen is that the applicants must demonstrate an understanding of the English language and a knowledge and understanding of the fundamentals of the history as the law requires the applicants to be able to read , write and speak basic English and also have a basic knowledge about US history and government. There are certain exceptions where the applicants be exempted from the English Language teas and Civics test based on the individual’s age and the period of being in United States as a permanent resident.
Once the citizenship form n400 has been received by USCIS, they may request more information or evidence, or may request the applicant to appear for an interview. If the citizenship form n400 is approved, the applicant must appear for the Oath of Allegiance Ceremony where he will be declared a Citizen of United States.
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