Ever thought of becoming a US citizen?

Becoming an American Citizen

Have you ever thought of becoming a US citizen? If yes, then you should know the benefits US citizenship brings. These benefits include:

  1. the privilege to NEVER suffer deportation from the US;
  2. to be eligible for financial aid including college grants and loans;
  3. to run for public office and obtain federal government jobs;
  4. the right to live overseas without endangering citizenship status in the United States;
  5. the right to pass the enjoyment of US citizenship to your children under 18 years old;
  6. the right to sponsor immediate relatives for their immigrant visa;
  7. the right to vote;
  8. to be eligible for Social Security and Medicare benefits;

But before you can become a US citizen you must meet certain legal requirements. There are four ways to become a US citizen:

  1. by birth;
  2. through a process called “naturalization;”
  3. through “derivative citizenship;” and
  4. through “acquired citizenship.”

BY BIRTH – This is the simplest method of acquiring US citizenship. If you were born inside the United States you may already be a US citizen!

NATURALIZATION – This process requires you to:

  • be at least 18 years of age,
  • be a permanent resident (green card holder),
  • have lived in the United States for at least the past 3 months,
  • be willing to swear or take an oath of allegiance or loyalty to the United States, including the willingness to fight in the United States’ military or do other national service,
  • be of good moral character,
  • be able to speak, read and write simple English, and
  • pass a test on US history and government (except for older or disabled applicants),
  • have actually lived inside the United States for at least 2 and a half years during the past 5 years (or 1 and a half years of the past 3 years if you have been married to a US citizen during the past 3 years), and
  • have had green card for at least 5 years (or 3 years if you have been married to a US citizen for the past 3 years).

You must use the N-400 form to apply for naturalization.

DERIVATIVE CITIZENSHIP – Depending on the date of the parent’s naturalization, some children become US citizens derivatively through their parent’s naturalization. If their parents became US citizens on or after February 27, 2001, their children will become US citizens if the children are under 18 years old, if they are or become permanent residents, and if they live with and are in the legal custody of the parent who become a US citizen. However, if their parent’s naturalization happened before February 27, 2001, both parents must be naturalized US citizens before the child reaches the age of 18 if he/she is living with both parents, otherwise, the child cannot derive the US citizenship from the US citizen parent. He/she has to file for naturalization after turning 18 if derivative citizenship is not available.

ACQUIRED CITIZENSHIP – If you were born outside the United States to at least one US citizen parent, you may already be a US citizen.

If you possess all the qualifications under any of the foregoing methods of acquiring US citizenship, then you are now ready to file an application for US citizenship.

See getting a US K1 visa in Thailand.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Category: US Immigration

About the Author (Author Profile)

Siam Legal is a full service law firm but it has an extensive range of immigration, corporate, and real estate experience accessible to clients both domestically and internationally. It has offices strategically located throughout the major cities in Thailand including Chiang Mai, Pattaya, Hua Hin, Samui and Phuket along with international representative offices in Australia, London and Las Vegas.