Naturalization

Frequently Asked Questions & Answers

1. What are the various ways to become a US citizen?

There are three primary ways to become an American citizen:

  1. Naturalization: The conferring, by any means, of Citizenship upon a person after birth
  2. Jus soli, or right of birthplace: Any child born in the U.S. automatically acquires U.S. Citizenship, even if the child’s mother was in the U.S. illegally. This provision does not apply to a child whose parent was a foreign diplomat at the time of birth
  3. Jus sanguinis, or right of blood: Even though a child is born outside the U.S., the child automatically acquires U.S. Citizenship if at least one parent was a U.S. citizen at the time of the child’s birth

2. What privileges do I enjoy as a U.S. citizen?

As a U.S. citizen, you:

  1. Are entitled to vote in national, state, and local elections
  2. Have the right to travel on a U.S. passport
  3. May sponsor relatives, such as your parents, spouse, children, brothers and sisters for permanent resident status in the U.S.
OR
Check My Eligibility

3. What privileges do I enjoy on H-3 visa?

You may be eligible to obtain U.S. Citizenship if:

1.You are a foreign national with five years permanent residence in the U.S. and at least half that time you were physically present inside the U.S. with no periods of absence over six months

2.You are a permanent resident for three years, who is currently married to a U.S. citizen, and has been married to the same U.S. citizen for the past three years

3.You have served the U.S. Armed Forces for at least three years

4.You performed active duty military service in the U.S. Armed Forces during:

a.World War I (November 11, 1916 – April 6, 1917)

b.World War II (September 1, 1939 – December 31, 1946)

c.Korea (June 25, 1950 – July 1, 1955)

d.Vietnam (February 28, 1961 – October 15, 1978) or

e.Persian Gulf (August 2, 1990 – April 11, 1991)

f.Persian Gulf (September 11, 2001 – Present)

5.You were married to a U.S. citizen who died during a period of honorable active duty service in the U.S. Armed Forces

6.You served on a vessel operated by the U.S. and have been a U.S. permanent resident for the past five years

7.You are an employee or an individual under contract to the U.S. Government and have been a U.S. permanent resident for the past five years

8.Are a person who performs ministerial or priestly functions for a religious denomination or an interdenominational organization with a valid presence in the U.S., and have been a U.S. permanent resident for the past five years

9.You are a spouse of a U.S. citizen who is one of the following:

a.A member of the U.S. Armed Forces

b.An employee or an individual under contract to the U.S. Government

c.An employee of an American institution of research recognized by the Attorney General

d.An employee of a public international organization of which the United States is a member by law or treaty

e.An employee of an American-owned firm or corporation engaged in the development of foreign trade and commerce for the United States

f.A person who performs ministerial or priestly functions for a religious denomination or an interdenominational organization with a valid presence in the United States


4. When does my time as a permanent resident begin for the purpose of Naturalization?

Your time as a permanent resident begins on the date you were granted permanent resident status. This date is on your Permanent Resident Card (formerly known as Alien Registration Card).


5. How do I become a naturalized U.S. citizen?

If you are not a U.S. citizen by birth or did not acquire U.S. Citizenship automatically after birth, you may be eligible to become a citizen through the process of Naturalization, if you are:

  1. 18 years and older, use the Form N-400, Application for Naturalization, to become naturalized
  2. Under 18 years of age, you may acquire Citizenship from your parent(s) by using Form N-600, Application for a Certificate of Citizenship, to document your Naturalization