Deciding to become a U.S. citizen is one of the most important decisions you can make. If you decide to apply to become a U.S. citizen, you will be showing your commitment to the country and your loyalty to its Constitution. In return, you are rewarded with all the rights and privileges that are part of U.S. citizenship.
You may become a U.S. citizen either at birth or after birth. Individuals who are born in the U.S. and subject to the jurisdiction of the U.S. and individuals born in certain territories or outlying possessions of the U.S. are citizens at birth. Also, individuals born outside the U.S. may be citizens at birth if their parent or parents were citizens at the time of birth and other requirements are met.
Additionally, you may become a U.S. citizen after birth either through your parents, known as “derived” or “acquired” citizenship, or by applying for naturalization on your own.
Citizenship Through Naturalization
Generally, Permanent Residents (Green Card holders) age 18 or older who meet all eligibility requirements for naturalization may submit a Form N-400, Application for Naturalization.
Citizenship Through Parents
If eligible, you can “acquire” or “derive” U.S. citizenship through a qualifying U.S. citizen parent(s).
The Naturalization Test
Most naturalization applicants are required to take a test on English, and U.S. history and government.