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Homeland Security

Become a Citizen

What You Need to Know

There are two ways to become a United States (U.S.) citizen – by birth or through naturalization.

To become a citizen at birth, you must:

  • Be born in the U.S or in certain territories or outlying possessions of the United States, that are subject to the jurisdiction of the United States
  • Have a parent or parents who were citizens at the time of your birth
  • If you were born outside the U.S., you must meet these requirements outlined by the U.S. Department of State

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). To become a citizen by naturalization, you must:

Start Here

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) provides a wealth of resources on how to become a citizen.

  1. If you plan to apply for citizenship through naturalization, become familiar with the naturalization process.

    Suggestions:                                                                                                                                           

  1. If your biological or adoptive parent(s) became U.S. citizens before you reached the age of 18, you may already be a U.S. citizen and not need to apply for naturalization. For more information, visit USCIS’s Citizenship Through Parents page.

Tips

The USCIS Citizenship Resource Center is designed to help you through the naturalization process.

Last Published Date: December 19, 2013
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