Obtaining a Citizenship or Naturalization Certificate is an option that many immigrants seek, but Naturalization is a process that should not be taken lightly or attempted without proper planning and preparation. A Citizenship Certificate is given to someone who derives their citizenship from their parents who are U.S. citizens, while a Naturalization Certificate is given to someone who later becomes a citizen through the Naturalization process.
The Naturalization process is regulated and managed by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service. You will be required to present specific documentation and attend an interview during this process. Our Immigration Law firm can help you properly prepare for this process.
There are 3 pathways to becoming a U.S. citizen:
- Birth within the U.S. or being born outside the U.S. to one or both parents who are U.S. citizens,
- Choosing to become a U.S. citizen by naturalization; or
- Meeting the Child Citizenship Act’s requirements, which do not require a U.S. birth or naturalization.
What makes citizenship and naturalization so appealing is the fact that U.S. citizens have certain legal benefits and rights. These benefits and rights include the following:
- Right to a U.S. Passport,
- Right to vote,
- Right to live and work in the U.S.
- Right to travel and live outside the U.S. for any duration without losing their status, and
- Rights to numerous social and economic privileges that simply are not available to non-immigrants (and in some cases not even permanent residents).
*Please note, if both parents are U.S. citizens, the child will automatically be considered a U.S. citizen if either parent resided in the U.S. for any time period. However, if only one parent is a U.S. citizen, and the child was born after November 14, 1986, the child will be a citizen only if the parent who is a U.S. citizen resided in the U.S. for 5 years prior to the child’s birth and at least 2 years after the parent reached age 14. Different rules apply for individuals who were before November 14, 1986.