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There are two types of citizenship.


The first type of citizen is someone who was born in the United States and by their birthright, they are deemed to be an American citizen.

For the purposes of birthright citizenship, the territory of the United States consists of the 50 U.S. states, the District of ColumbiaGuamPuerto Rico, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the United States Virgin Islands.

Regardless of where they are born, children of United States citizens are United States citizens in most cases. Children born outside the United States with at least one United States citizen parent usually have birthright citizenship by parentage.


The second type of citizen is someone who becomes a citizen through the naturalization process with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) . The naturalization process requires that an applicant meet certain requirements before they will be granted American citizenship.

Currently the USCIS requirements are:

  • The applicant is at least 18 years of age at the time the application is filed;

  • The applicant has been a lawful permanent resident (green card holder) for the past three or five years (depending on the naturalization category);

  • The applicant has continuous resided in and has had a physical presence in the United States;

  • The applicant be able to read, write, and speak basic English;

  • The applicant has resided in the district or state in which he/she isapplying for citizenship for the last three months;

  • The applicant has demonstrate good moral character;

  • The applicant has demonstrated a fundamental knowledge and understanding of the principles of U.S. history and government;

  • The applicant must have a loyalty to the principles of the U.S. Constitution; and

  • The applicant must be willing to take the Oath of Allegiance to the United States.

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