Citizenship Law - Naturalization Law
Naturalization or Citizenship Law deals with the legal process of a person taking on citizenship in a country other than the one of his or her birth. The process of becoming a citizen of another county is called naturalization, while citizenship is technically the body of rights, privileges and duties a naturalized citizen obtains.
The Immigration and Nationality Act is the primary source of American naturalization and citizenship law. Generally speaking, a person can become a United States citizen in one of four ways:
1. By being born in the United States (or one of its territories);
2. By being born to parents who are US citizens;
3. By being naturalized (which usually involves certain residency requirements and passing a citizenship test); or
4. By being a minor and having one or more of your parents become naturalized citizens.
For more information about becoming a citizen, you may refer to the resources found below. Additionally, you can find an attorney in your area who can assist you with your naturalization and citizenship issues or answer any other questions you may have by clicking on the “Law Firms” tab found above on the menu bar.
Citizenship Law - US
- ABA - Immigration And Naturalization Committee
The Committee considers matters of administrative law, procedure, and practice relating to immigration, naturalization, and aliens.
- Aliens and Nationality
Title 8 of the United States Code outlines the role of aliens and nationality in the United States Code.
- Aliens and Nationality (Title 8)
- Board of Immigration Appeals
The Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA or Board) is the highest administrative body for interpreting and applying immigration laws. It is authorized up to 15 Board Members, including the Chairman and Vice Chairman who share responsibility for Board management. The Board is located at EOIR headquarters in Falls Church, Virginia. Generally, the Board does not conduct courtroom proceedings - it decides appeals by conducting a "paper review" of cases. On rare occasions, however, the Board does hear oral arguments of appealed cases, predominately at headquarters.
- Citizenship and Naturalization Based Forms
This page provides you with basic information on Immigration Forms. For more specific information on each form, please see the specific information page for that form. USCIS provides most public use forms free of charge through this website in Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF).
- Citizenship Through Naturalization
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.
- Immigration and Nationality Act
The Immigration and Nationality Act, or INA, was created in 1952. Before the INA, a variety of statutes governed immigration law but were not organized in one location. The McCarran-Walter bill of 1952, Public Law No. 82-414, collected and codified many existing provisions and reorganized the structure of immigration law. The Act has been amended many times over the years, but is still the basic body of immigration law.
- Office of Citizenship
The Office of Citizenship will provide federal leadership, tools, and resources to proactively foster immigrant integration. We will engage and support partners to welcome immigrants, promote English language learning and education on the rights and responsibilities of citizenship, and encourage U.S. citizenship.
- Office of the Chief Immigration Judge
The Office of the Chief Immigration Judge oversees the administration of the Immigration Courts nationwide and exercises administrative supervision over Immigration Judges. Immigration Judges are responsible for conducting Immigration Court proceedings and act independently in deciding matters before them. Immigration Judges are tasked with resolving cases in a manner that is timely, impartial, and consistent with the Immigration and Nationality Act, federal regulations, and precedent decisions of the Board of Immigration Appeals and federal appellate courts.
- United States Nationality Law - Overview
Article I, section 8, clause 4 of the United States Constitution expressly gives the United States Congress the power to establish a uniform rule of naturalization. The Immigration and Naturalization Act sets forth the legal requirements for the acquisition of, and divestiture from, citizenship of the United States. The requirements have become more explicit since the ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution, with the most recent changes to statutory law having been made by the United States Congress in 2001.
- US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
USCIS will secure America’s promise as a nation of immigrants by providing accurate and useful information to our customers, granting immigration and citizenship benefits, promoting an awareness and understanding of citizenship, and ensuring the integrity of our immigration system.
- US Immigration Support
U.S. Immigration Support is a leading publisher of legal books and immigration guides. Our mission is to help immigrants through the complex United States immigration system with our do-it-yourself immigration guides. We are dedicated to providing the most current information on immigration to the United States, including U.S. visas, Green Cards and citizenship application guides
- US State Department Services Dual Nationality
The concept of dual nationality means that a person is a citizen of two countries at the same time. Each country has its own citizenship laws based on its own policy.Persons may have dual nationality by automatic operation of different laws rather than by choice. For example, a child born in a foreign country to U.S. citizen parents may be both a U.S. citizen and a citizen of the country of birth.
- USDOJ - Recognition and Accreditation Roster
Under 8 C.F.R. § 292.1 and 1292.1, persons entitled to represent individuals in matters before the Department of Homeland Security ("DHS"), and the Immigration Courts and Board of Immigration Appeals ("Board"), or the DHS alone, include, among others, accredited representatives. Any such representatives must be designated by a qualified organization, as recognized by the Board. A recognized organization must apply to the Board for accreditation of such a representative or representatives.
Publications Related to Citizenship Law
- Certificate of Naturalization Application Guide
The United States Certificate of Naturalization Application Guide was developed to help naturalized U.S. citizens complete and file their own requests for a copy of their Certificate of United States Naturalization. This is a clear, step-by-step guide that explains how to efficiently and quickly obtain a copy of your certificate of United States Naturalization. Please note, you should only apply for a replacement certificate if your current certificate of naturalization is incorrect, lost, mutilated, or destroyed.
- Study Materials for the Naturalization Test
During your naturalization eligibility interview, a USCIS officer will test your ability to read, write, and speak English (unless you are exempt from the English requirements). You will also be given a civics test in English (to test your knowledge and understanding of U.S. history and government) unless you are exempt. Even if exempt from the English test, you will need to take the civics test unless you qualify for a waiver. You may also be eligible to take the civics test in your native language with the assistance of an interpreter if you qualify.
- US Citizenship Test Study Guide
The U.S. Citizenship Test is a required step in the naturalization process. All U.S. citizenship applicants, with some exceptions, must pass the citizenship test before taking the Oath of Allegiance and officially becoming United States citizens. The U.S. Citizenship Test Study Guide was developed by U.S. Immigration Support covers both the current and the new redesigned test including the 100 civics questions and answers. Additional topics making up the naturalization exam include an English oral, reading and writing test in addition to 10 questions about American government, civics, and American history.
Articles on HG.org Related to Citizenship Law
- Is It Lawful for a U.S. Citizen to Hold Dual Citizenship?This article explains whether U.S. law allows dual citizenship with other countries, the difference between dual citizenship at birth and by naturalization, and how U.S. Citizens can claim their right of Italian Citizenship under the jus sanguinis principle.
- Parole in Place for Immediate Relatives of Members of U.S. Armed ForcesThe U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services issued a new policy on November 15, 2013, that will allow immigrants in the United States illegally who are close relatives of active military troops and veterans to stay and move toward becoming permanent residents.
- Important Factors Affecting ImmigrationU.S. immigration law is very complex, and can be very confusing. In order to understand the process, you need to understand the factors related to the law and policies of immigration.
- Another Successful I-601 Waiver of Grounds Of Inadmissibility Under My BeltUnder section 212(i)(1) of the INA, the Attorney General may waive the misrepresentation committed by Edgar provided he can establish to the satisfaction of the Attorney General that Amanda, his U.S. citizen mother, will suffer extreme hardship if Edgar is not allowed to immigrate to the United States. The application for waiver is filed through Form I-601.
- The White House Stands Its Ground on Road to CitizenshipAt the beginning of this past May, President Barack Obama publicly announced that he would look for a compromise in order to get a comprehensive immigration bill signed before the year is over. He also had stated that he will not compromise on his insistence that any immigration legislation must contain a path to citizenship for immigrants without their documents.
- Final Rule on Processing I-601 Hardship Waiver Will Take Effect on March 4, 2013.The waiver for unlawful presence may be granted only if the noncitizen is the spouse, son or daughter of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident. If the waiver is being sought for a noncitizen fiancé(e), the U.S. citizen fiancé(e) also may be a qualifying relative. It should be noted that children of the noncitizen are not qualifying relatives for purposes of this waiver.
- Frequent Travel Abroad and Abandonment of Legal Permanent Resident StatusA returning legal resident returning from an absence of less than a year who presents his Green Card at the port of entry is not assured that he will be readmitted to the United States. While an Green Card satisfies the requirement of presenting a valid entry document, its presentation is not evidence that he is "returning from a temporary visit abroad." For this reason, it is possible that a returning resident might be denied entry if deemed to have abandoned his legal residence status.
- Immigration Issues – Where do Obama and Romney StandWe hope that both Candidates continue supporting the DREAMers, and higher-skilled immigrants (L1A,H1B,O1). The results of this year’s election can change the White House’s approach on immigration. The Presidential elections are less than one month away and both candidates are in a full-throttle attempt to persuade more people to vote for him rather than his opponent.
- A Bad Marriage is Not the Same as a Sham MarriageMarriage to a U.S. citizen is the most common way of getting a legal permanent resident status in the United States especially when the alien has been out of status in the country. Fraud statistics show that between 1998-2007 more than 2 million people have reported marriage as a means to gain residency within the United States.
- New Decision of the Appellate Court Regarding Advance ParoleAn alien who applied for adjustment of status to become a legal permanent resident of the United States should apply for advance parole in case he/she needs to leave the country while the adjustment of status is pending. Previously, an alien who leaves the United States after incurring at least one year of unlawful presence will not be allowed to re-enter the country even if he/she is in possession of an advance parole document. This new decision issued by the BIA changed that rule.
- All Immigration Law Articles
Articles written by attorneys and experts worldwide discussing legal aspects related to Immigration including: extradition, green cards, naturalization and citizenship, visas, work permits and visas.