The United States with its history and cultural diversity has always attracted immigrants to it. With the provision of work, study, and a lot of historical and beautiful scenery to see, several people visit the US for one reason or the other. This has made some people decide to become a US citizen knowing the rights and privileges that comes with being a US citizen.
To become a citizen of a country, one needs to be born in that country. However, since evolution, we have learned that there are different ways to become a citizen if peradventure one is not born in that country.
There are four ways to become a citizen in the USA. We have by naturalization, by marriage, citizenship by parents, and by the military. These processes have their rigorous process.
But with the several rights that come with being a citizen of the United States, it is something that one should do. In this article, we will be explaining the different types of ways of becoming a citizen of the United States
1. By Naturalization
One way to become a citizen is by naturalization. Naturalization means a person that was not born in the United States becomes a citizen of the United States.
This is the most common route to becoming a United States of America citizen. There are other routes though, but rarely is there a person who wants to join the military just for the sole purpose of becoming a citizen. While some opt for fake marriages, being naturalized is the commonest way international people get their US citizenship.
The requirement for this is to have a green card or holder. This must have been with them for at least 5 years to get this citizenship using this route. Other requirements are:
- You must be at least 18 years
- Proving that you have been residing in the US for at least two years and a half during the 5 qualifying years.
- Show that you have a good moral
- Demonstrate good history and government knowledge
- Showing loyalty to the principles of the constitution.
- Taking oath of allegiance
Form N-400 is what is used when this naturalization is to be done. This document must be filled out online or physically and submitted with other supporting documents.
ALSO, READ Basic Steps To Apply For a Visa
2.Citizenship by Marriage
Another way to get United States citizenship is through marriage. There are several people who get married just because of getting a US green card. There are several fake marriages just to get citizenship.
Looking at the legal and honest side of it, marrying a US citizen will get you citizenship. You are also eligible to apply for a Green Card. Your spouse will then need to fill form I-130 Petition for an Alien Relative. It guarantees that truly, the relationship is real.
With a Green card, the marriage certificate must be provided to ensure that the relationship is real. After becoming the holder of a Green Card comes the naturalization. Other requirements to meet are;
- Evidence that you have been married for more than 3 years before application
- You are a lawful permanent resident of the United States for not less than 3 year before the application was made
- You have continuous residence in the United States for not less than 3 years before the application
Other requirements such as moral character, obeying the principles of the US constitution, etc. will also be considered.
3.US Citizenship by Parent
Another way to acquire the US citizenship of the US can be through having parents who have the citizenship of the United States and are of course married. Having parents born and married in the US qualifies you for automatic citizenship. That is being a U.S citizenship by birth.
This applies even if you were born outside the United States.
However, where you have just one parent who is a citizen, then there is all possibility that you have to go through some requirements to get your citizenship. To get this, you must have been born or after November 14, 1986, and;
- Your parents were married at the time of birth
- Your parent that is a citizen must have been in the US for not less than five years at a particular point in their life before your birth.
- Two of these 5 years must also be after their 14 years birthday.
If you are born before November 14, 1986, but after October 10, 1952, you must meet this requirement;
- Your parents were married at the time of your birth
- Your parent with US citizenship must have been in the US for not less than 10 years at a particular point in their life.
- 5 years out of ten must have been after their 14th birthday
To get this citizenship status, you must fill out the Form N-600 application for your certificate of citizenship. This shows that once you are naturalized as a US citizen, your children who are below the age of 18 years also automatically become a US citizen without any process as long as they have their green card available.
4.Citizenship through Military
Another surprising way of becoming a US citizen is by serving truthfully and diligently in the military. Persons who served honorably can apply for naturalization and become US citizens. The requirements however vary on when you served. Did you serve during the war or hostile time or did you serve during peacetime? Depending on when you served, there are different requirements for both.
It should be noted that the United States has been in the period of hostility since 2011 September. If anyone has served during this period, acquiring the United States citizenship is automatic and without any rigorous process. If your service is done during peacetime, then you must serve for at least 1 year before you can apply for citizenship by naturalization. The best bet is to apply during service or 6 months to the end of your service. Note that for this, you will need to obtain a green card.
So, it can be deduced that it is not hard to obtain US citizenship, it only depends on how you can apply for citizenship in the US.
ALSO, READ Tips For a Successful Visa Interview