Citizenship And Naturalization/Ciudadanía in Los Angeles, CA
Deciding to become a U.S. citizen is one of the most important decisions in an individual’s life. If you decide to apply to become a U.S. citizen, you will be showing your commitment to the United States and your loyalty to its Constitution. In return, you are rewarded with all the rights and privileges that are part of U.S. citizenship. You may become a U.S. citizen either at birth or after birth. Individuals who are born in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction of the United States and individuals born in certain territories or outlying possessions of the United States are citizens at birth. Also, individuals born outside the United States may be citizens at birth if their parent or parents were citizens at the time of birth and other requirements are met.
Additionally, you may become a U.S. citizen after birth either through your parents, known as “derived” or “acquired” citizenship, or by applying for naturalization on your own.
Naturalization is the process by which U.S. citizenship is granted to a foreign citizen or national after he or she fulfills the requirements established by Congress in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
In most cases, an applicant for naturalization must be a permanent resident (green card holder) before filing. Except for certain U.S. military members and their dependents, naturalization can only be granted in the United States.
The basic requirements for naturalization are as follows:
- You have been a permanent resident for at least 5 years and meet all other eligibility requirements.
- You have been a permanent resident for 3 years or more and meet all eligibility requirements to file as a spouse of a U.S. citizen.
- You must be admissible into the United States.
- You must meet certain physical presence requirements.
To apply for naturalization, file Form N-400, Application for Naturalization.