Citizenship

Individuals who are born in the United States or who become a permanent United States citizen are afforded a number of rights under the Constitution and federal law. Those who are citizens are afforded full protection and full rights with the right to travel freely, work in the United States and enjoy all the benefits the country has to offer. United States citizenship is available only to those who qualify, and there are generally two ways to become a citizen, through parentage or through naturalization. Those born in the United States or born to parents who are U.S. citizens can automatically obtain their citizenship, while those who immigrate to the United States must meet various eligibility criteria and must take a naturalization test in order to establish legal standing. To learn more about the process of becoming a U.S. citizen and the rules for qualifying, see the articles and answers to frequently asked questions in this section.