Becoming an American Citizen: A Primer

American citizenshipBeing a citizen of the United States means that you have specific rights under the United States Constitution and American laws. To be come an American citizen, you must be born in the United States or in a territory of the United States, or apply for naturalization.

When you become a U.S. citizen, you’ll be eligible for government assistance and other privileges. You must also however respond to your duties when the nation calls upon you to do your job, such as paying appropriate taxes, going on jury duty, or military service.

Immigration attorneys in Salt Lake City will explain more about this process below.

Benefits of Becoming an American Citizen

Becoming a U.S. citizen affords you excellent rights and privileges including the following:

  • Reside and work in the U.S.
  • Come and go to the U.S. for as long as you want
  • Vote and run for specific offices
  • Obtain consular protection from the U.S. when you’re abroad
  • Petition or sponsor relatives living in another country with shorter waiting time
  • Transfer citizenship rights to your children who were not born in the U.S.
  • Invest in specific property types
  • Unlike those with a temporary resident status, you can’t ever be deported from the U.S.

How to Become an American Citizen

While you automatically become an American citizen under birthright citizenship laws if you’re born in the United States or a U.S. territory, others will have to go through the naturalization process under immigration laws to become an American citizen. This is a long, often complicated process that involves filing the appropriate forms, submitting relevant documents, successfully passing an immigration interview and citizenship examination, and attending a final swearing-in ceremony.

Basically, you should first become a legal permanent U.S. resident prior to being eligible for applying for U.S. citizenship. You must be able to satisfy all residency requirements, and in case your application was denied, you can appeal or re-apply your case. U.S. citizenship laws are very complicated and specific, and the entire application process can be extremely demanding. To better your chances of being granted an American citizen status and eliminate all the guesswork, consider getting help from a legal professional.