Naturalization- Obtaining Citizenship
U.S. Citizenship is obtained either by birth or naturalization. There are certain benefits to becoming a U.S. citizen, such as higher estate tax exemptions, federal job benefits, greater freedom of travel to other countries and most importantly, the right to vote. In addition there are certain federal grants and scholarships available only to U.S. citizens.
Naturalization is the process by which U.S. citizenship is conferred upon a foreign citizen or national after she/he fulfills the requirements established by Congress in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
The general requirements for administrative naturalization include:
- A period of continuous residence and physical presence in the United States;
- Residence in a particular USCIS District prior to filing;
- An ability to read, write and speak English;
- A knowledge and understanding of U.S. history and government;
- Good moral character;
- Attachment to the principles of the U.S. Constitution; and,
- Favorable disposition toward the United States
All naturalization applicants must demonstrate good moral character, attachment, and favorable disposition. The other naturalization requirements may be modified or waived for certain applicants, such as spouses of U.S. citizens.