Many people immigrate to the United States, either for a temporary stay while attending school or for employment, or in an effort to seek a more permanent status. Naturalization occurs when a person travels to the U.S., meets certain requirements and is granted permanent resident status.
Acquisition occurs when U.S. citizens have children in other countries, or when those who have immigrated to the nation and gained permanent status have children. What are the requirements one must meet to become eligible for naturalization? When is acquisition available?
According to the Immigration and Nationality Act, people must meet certain requirements to be eligible for naturalization. If you have been living in the U.S. lawfully for the last five years, married a U.S. citizen or served in the U.S. military there are certain factors that the court will take into account before granting permanent residency. According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, these naturalization requirements may vary depending on what situation you are in. However, they may include the following:
- Ability to speak, read and write basic English
- Knowledge of the historical fundamentals of the U.S.
- Knowledge of the basic form of government
- Have a good moral character
If you have been living legally in the U.S for the past five years, you must show you have been physically present in the U.S. for at least 30 months of the past five years. For those who have married a U.S. citizen, physical presence must be for 18 months of the past three years.
Children of U.S. citizens can become permanent citizens through acquisition, even if they were born outside of the United States. At least one parent must be a citizen who has lived in the United States for a specific period of time.
It is important to realize that all situations differ depending on the specific circumstances surrounding the case.