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Frequently Asked Questions on Citizenship Application

1. Who can apply for US citizenship?

To be eligible to apply for US citizenship, you must meet some requirements. Please use our online expert system for free evaluation of your eligibility.

2. How can I become a United States citizen?

A person may become a U.S. citizen (1) by birth or (2) through naturalization.

3. Who is born a United States citizen?

Generally, people are born U.S. citizens if they are born in the United States or if they are born to U.S. citizens:

(1) By being born in the United States

If you were born in the United States (including, in most cases, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands), you are an American citizen at birth (unless you were born to a foreign diplomat). Your birth certificate is proof of your citizenship.

(2) Through birth abroad to TWO United States citizens

In most cases, you are a U.S. citizen if ALL of the following are true:

  • Both your parents were U.S. citizens when you were born; and
  • At least one of your parents lived in the United States at some point in their life.

Your record of birth abroad, if registered with a U.S. consulate or embassy, is proof of your citizenship. You may also apply for a passport to have your citizenship recognized. If you need additional proof of your citizenship, you may file a Form "Application for Certificate of Citizenship" to get a Certificate of Citizenship.

(3) Through birth abroad to ONE United States citizen

In most cases, you are a U.S. citizen if ALL of the following are true:

  • One of your parents was a U.S. citizen when you were born;
  • Your citizen parent lived at least 5 years in the United States before you were born;
  • At least 2 of these 5 years in the United States were after your
    citizen parent's 14th birthday*.

Your record of birth abroad, if registered with a U.S. consulate or embassy, is proof of your citizenship. You may also apply for a passport to have your citizenship recognized. If you need additional proof of your citizenship, you may file an "Application for Certificate of Citizenship" to get a Certificate of Citizenship.

*If you were born before November 14, 1986, you are a citizen if your U.S. citizen parent lived in the United States for at least 10 years and 5 of those years in the United States were after your citizen parent's 14th birthday.


4. How do I become a naturalized citizen?


If you are not a U.S. citizen by birth or did not acquire U.S. citizenship automatically after birth, you may still be eligible to become a citizen through the normal naturalization process. Since the naturalization process is very complicated, we recommend you consult some professionals or use our do-it-yourself US Citizenship Application Package.


5. When does my time as a Permanent Resident begin?

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). Click here to view a sample card..

6. If I have been convicted of a crime but my record has been expunged, do I need to indicate that on my application or tell an Immigration officer?

Yes. You should always be honest with Immigration regarding all:

Arrests (including those by police, Immigration Officers, and other Federal Agents);
convictions (even if they have been expunged); and crimes you have committed for which you were not arrested or convicted.

Even if you have committed a minor crime, Immigration may deny your application if you do not tell the Immigration officer about the incident. It is extremely important that you tell Immigration about any arrest even if someone else has advised you that you are not required to do so.


7. Where do I file my naturalization application?

You should send your completed "Application for Naturalization" to the appropriate office. Remember to make a copy of your application. Our US Citizenship Application Package provides all the information you need for the application process.



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