Citizenship and Naturalization

A person may acquire U.S. citizenship in one of three ways:  birth, blood and naturalization.  Children who are born in the U.S. are citizens according to the principle of jus soli, or right of birthplace.  Certain individuals who are born outside the US are citizens because of their parents’ U.S. citizenship according to the principle of jus sanguinis, or right of blood.

Naturalization is a process by which U.S. citizenship may be conferred upon foreign citizens or nationals if they meet all of the following requirements:  (1)  a period of continuous residence and physical presence in the U.S.; (2)  residence in a particular U.S. CIS district prior to filing; (3)  an ability to read, write and speak English; (4)  knowledge of U.S. history and government; (5)  good moral character; (6)  support for the U.S. constitution; and (7)  favorable disposition towards to the U.S.

Additionally, foreign born children automatically acquire U.S. citizenship under the Child Citizenship Act of 2000, if they have met the following requirements:  (1) at least one parent is a citizen of the U.S., by birth or through naturalization; (2)  they are under 18 years old; (3)  they reside in the U.S. pursuant to a lawful admission as a permanent resident alien, and in the legal and physical custody of the U.S. citizen parent.