The United States is considered to be a land of immigrants and it also has a long history of welcoming immigrants, across the globe.
On becoming a US citizen, you will be required to show your commitment and loyalty towards the constitution of the United States. You will also be provided with the privileges and rights as that of a native US citizen.
You may become an American citizen, either by birth or after birth.
Three are three major ways through which a person can become a citizen of the United States.
Through the Right of Birthplace
If you were born in the United States, you automatically acquire US citizenship. You will become a US citizen irrespective of your parents' nationality and status in America.
Through the Right of Blood
You will acquire US citizenship, even if you were born outside the United States, if at least one of your parents were US citizens, when you were born.
This is a process through which a foreign national can become a US citizen, though he was born abroad to foreign nationals.
Citizenship by your Birth in the United States
You will become a US citizen by birth if you were born in the United States or in certain territories, under control of the United States. You can also gain American citizenship, through your US citizen parents, if they were citizens of America when you were born.
Citizenship after your Birth
You can derive or acquire US citizenship through your parents. You can also apply for American citizenship through Naturalization.
You may derive citizenship if you were a permanent resident of the United States and if either one of your parents or both of them became naturalized US citizens, when you were 18 years of age or less.
If you wish to become a US citizen through Naturalization, you must apply by filing Form N-400, Application for Naturalization.
You are required to satisfy certain eligibility requirements to become a US citizen through Naturalization.
You must be a lawful permanent resident in the United States or a Green Card holder for a period of 5 years.
You must be of age 18 or above.
Your physical presence in the United States for at least 30 months out of the 5 years is mandatory.
You must possess at least basic knowledge of the English language and about the history and laws of the United States.
You must possess good moral character, without involving yourself in any kind of criminal activities.
You must be present in the United States continuously, from the date of your application for Naturalization until you get naturalized.
If you are a conditional permanent resident in the United States, married to a US citizen, you can apply for naturalization after three years of your conditional permanent resident status in the United States, if you are still married to the same US citizen, at the time of applying for US citizenship through Naturalization.
People working for the United States armed forces and their eligible dependents will be eligible for US citizenship through special naturalization provisions.
On becoming an American citizen, you will be entitled to various benefits, such as the right to vote. You will also be able to sponsor your relatives for lawful permanent resident status in the United States. Hence a foreign national can gain US citizenship through Naturalization, even if he was born abroad to foreign nationals.