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How to Become a U S Citizen

Updated on January 26, 2013

Getting in is The Hard Part

There are three ways to become a citizen of the United States of America.

The first two are automatic and occur when a person is born in the United States or is born abroad to American citizens traveling or residing abroad.

For these people the simple act of being born in one of the two circumstances described above automatically makes them a citizen.

There are rare exceptions to the above, the most common being children born in the U.S. to parents who are either foreign heads of state or foreign diplomats – these children are not recognized as citizens of the United States.

Citizenship by Birth - Jus Soli and the 14th Amendment

The technical legal definitions of obtaining citizenship in one of these ways are the principle of jus soli (right of birthplace) and the principle of jus sanguinis (the right of blood).

The 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which reads as follows:

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

guarantees citizenship under the principle of jus soli to practically every person born within the borders of the Unites States or its territories (Puerto Rico, American Samoa, etc.), with only rare exceptions to this rule (such as children born to foreign diplomats stationed in the U.S., etc.).

Birth to American Parents Outside the U.S. - Principle of Jus Sanguinis

As to children born outside the U.S. to parents who are American citizens, there are a few more exceptions and Congress is free to redefine and change the rules for citizenship under the principle of jus sanguinis.

Generally, if the mother is an American citizen, then the child is automatically an American citizen. In the cases where only the father is an American citizen there is usually no problem so long as he is the recognized biological father AND he is married to the mother at time of birth.

If this is not the case then you had better get a lawyer to determine whether or not a case can be made for the child's right to U.S. citizenship.

I believe that some exceptions have been made in recent decades where the child's father is an American citizen but not married to the mother. These usually involve children born to foreign mothers who had lived with American soldiers while the soldier was stationed abroad.

In these cases the affair was temporary, at least in the eyes of the soldier, and the soldier usually didn't know the woman was pregnant when he left.

I believe that Congress did pass legislation allowing some children born as a result of these affairs, especially in the case of the those born to soldiers in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War, and allowed them to come to the U.S.some twenty years or more after the war.

Foreign Nationals Seeking U.S. Citizenship

The third way is not automatic and that applies to people who were neither born in the U.S. nor born to parents who were U.S. citizens at the time of their birth.

These are people from other nations and they have to acquire citizenship through the naturalization process.The first step is to gain admittance to the U.S. as a resident alien (a person who is allowed to live and work in the U.S. but who is not a citizen).

There are a number of ways to legally gain admittance to live, work, go to school, etc. Some of these ways, such as student visas or certain work visas do not allow you to apply for citizenship. Other types of legal entry visas give one the option of choosing to remain in the United States as a legal permanent resident or to apply for United States citizenship.

Some Ways to Legally Enter the United States

Here are some of the ways to legally move to the United States and have the option to become a citizen with all the rights and responsibilities of one who was born in the U.S. or born outside the United States to American parents:

  • Apply at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate in your home country for an immigrant visa. This can involve a very long wait before you receive the visa and are allowed to move to the United States.
  • Apply for and win one of the 50,000 immigrant visas awarded by lottery every year by the U.S government. The application for this also requires that you apply at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in your home country. While the odds of winning are small, the wait will be short if your name is drawn (the application is for you and your immediate family),
  • Enter the United States as a political refugee and apply for asylum in the U.S. I believe that you can also apply for this from abroad as well. The requirement here is that you face persecution or even death in your homeland because of your political views. Granting of such visas are usually a political decision by the U.S. State Department.
  • Marrying an American citizen abroad and applying to enter the U.S. with your spouse. This is a K-3 Nonimmigrant Visa for a Spouse. Check the U.S. State Department Visa page for information on this type of visa.
  • Coming to the U.S. to the U.S. to marry your American fiancée. This is known as a K-1 Fiancée Visa (there is also a K-2 Visa issued to children of the foreign fiancée - it appears that the child in this case has to be under 21 years of age in order to be admitted on the K-2 visa with the parent). See my Hub Bringing Your Foreign Fiancée to the U.S. for a longer discussion on the process of gaining citizenship by marrying an American citizen.
  • Being adopted as a child by an American citizen. This is not really an option as those adopted are generally too young to make a choice and the decision to adopt and bring the child to the U.S. is made by the American parent to be. My previous wife and I adopted our first son this way (he was 15 months old at the time and is now in his twenties) the experience is described in my Hub Adopting a Child Abroad.
  • Entering the United States under sponsorship of a relative who is an American citizen. If you have relatives in the United States you can often expedite the process by having them sponsor you as an immigrant. I believe that the sponsoring relative has to assume financial responsibility for you for up to a decade if you cannot find work.
  • Enlisting and serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. The United States does accept foreign nationals into the enlisted ranks of the military (I believe that officers have to be U.S. citizens). This can be a route to U.S. residence and citizenship if you qualify.

There are other legal avenues to enter the U.S. to become a legal permanent resident or citizen but the ones above are the most common.

Gaining one of the classes of visas allowing entry for the purpose of remaining in the U.S. is just the first step.

In most cases such visas expire within a short time and certain steps must be taken before the expiration of the visa in order to obtain temporary residence status.

The requirements for temporary residence status vary depending upon the type of visa but usually require the filing of an application and other documents along with an interview with an officer of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Once temporary residence is obtained, the person is usually allowed to work and exercise all of the rights of an American citizen except for things like voting, holding certain public offices, etc. Temporary residence status is just that, temporary.

Again, depending upon the type of visa you entered the U.S. under, there will be certain processes you will have to follow in order to obtain permanent residence status.

A big exception involves minor children who are adopted by U.S. citizens. In most cases, these children are brought in to the U.S. and their adoptive parents can immediately file for citizenship.

For all others, an application has to be made for permanent residence status. Like the application for temporary residence status, this also requires the filing of an application and documents and an interview with an officer of the USCIS.

Once permanent residence is obtained the holder can either elect to live here as a legal resident alien or apply for citizenship. As a permanent resident alien, they will have to periodically renew their status but, other than not being able to vote or hold most public offices, life will be no different than that of a citizen.

However, if they commit a crime such people can be deported and, there is always the possibility that Congress will change the law in the future and not allow them to renew their permanent resident alien status thereby forcing them to leave the country.

The basic process for moving from permanent residence status to naturalized citizen requires that the person first must meet the following general requirements:

1 – they must physically reside in the U.S. for a continuous period (exact time may vary)

2 – they must demonstrate the ability to read, write and speak English.

3 - they must reside in a particular USCIS District prior to filing (in other words they must file in the USCIS district in which they live)

4 – they must have a knowledge and understanding of U.S. history and government.

5 - they must demonstrate an attachment to the principles of the U.S. Constitution

6 – they must be of good moral character.

7 - they must have a favorable disposition toward the United States.

Good moral character, attachment to the Constitution and favorable disposition toward the United States is required for all persons seeking naturalization. Some of the other requirements may be waived for certain people including members of the U.S. military (citizenship is not a requirement for enlisting in the U.S. Armed Forces), spouses of American citizens and certain others.

These are the general rules that most people have to follow. There are also other rules which vary according to the type of visa under which the applicant entered the U.S. and other factors.

The USCIS web site (see link below) contains most, if not all, of the information and forms needed for most people to complete the process. However, immigration law and regulations are extensive and complicated as well as constantly changing so it is important to follow the rules that apply to your particular situation. Lawyers can be hired to assist you with this but they are not required.

The passing of a test on U.S. history and government (given in English) is one of the final requirements for most applicants. Once all of the steps have been completed, the applicant is given an appointment for a swearing in ceremony during which they take an oath of allegiance to the U.S. and renounce all previous citizenship rights in other nations and they become citizens with all of the rights, privileges and responsibilities of U.S. citizens.

The only right they do not have is the right to be elected President, which the Constitution specifically reserves to those who are citizens by birth (by default, they also cannot be elected Vice President since they could not assume the office of President in the event of the President's death or removal).


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    • Chuck profile image

      Chuck Nugent 5 years ago from Tucson, Arizona

      Michelle - sorry about your plight. Since you are not married to your son's father I suspect the U.S. and its court system have little say in your situation. Since you are in the Philippines and you and your son are Philippine citizens the laws of that nation would seem to apply in this case with regards to custody and child support. So I suggest that you contact a Philippine lawyer for answers to these questions. As to any U.S.citizenship possibilities or options for you and your son, I suggest that you speak with someone in the immigration section at the U.S. Embassy or nearest U.S. Consulate.

    • profile image

      Michelle 5 years ago

      I bore a child from a relationship with a guy who is a U.S. citizen. I gave birth here in the Philippines. The father has been supporting us financially, and our son remained a Filipino citizen.

      As a Filipino mother, what legal right do I have over my son? Since the father and I are not married, do I have full custody over him? And, in the event that the father turns his back on us, can I demand for legal support and US citizenship for my son? Please help!

    • Chuck profile image

      Chuck Nugent 5 years ago from Tucson, Arizona

      cleo, you will have to check this with a Counselor official in a U.S. Consulate near you in the Philippines. Or have your father speak to an immigration officer or immigration attorney in the U.S. about your status.

      My guess is that, if you didn't take the citizenship test and participate in a new citizen swearing in ceremony (at which time you would have been given a certificate as a naturalized citizen) you are not currently a citizen. As to what remains to become a citizen, you will have to check with the authorities.

    • profile image

      cleo 5 years ago

      me and my dad use to live here in the philippines until my dad sister petition us i lived in hawaii for almost 7 years my dad also became a citizen there.does that mean im a citizen there to even if i live here in the philippines........

    • Chuck profile image

      Chuck Nugent 5 years ago from Tucson, Arizona

      marilou - As each situation is different, I don't have an answer for you. My suggestion would be for you to either visit or contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate and ask to speak with an immigration officer about your situation. A second option would be to check the U.S. government's Citizenship and Immigration Service's website at

    • profile image

      marilou 5 years ago

      my husband was u.s senior citizenship.were leaving outside in the united states of america for 20 yrs,do i qualified to apply american citizenship

    • Gregorious profile image

      Gregorious 6 years ago

      US has one of the toughest immigration policies in the world. Heaps of paperwork and can be quite expensive too. Thanks for a very informative hub.

    • louromano profile image

      louromano 6 years ago

      Wow, thanks. I knew almost all of them except the lottery!

    • Chuck profile image

      Chuck Nugent 6 years ago from Tucson, Arizona

      Komal - All I can say is to suggest that you should defiantly seek the advice of a good lawyer (preferably one versed in Indian, Italian an U.S. law) as I imagine there could be complex custody as well as citizenship issues at stake here.

    • profile image

      Komal 6 years ago

      I am an Indian citizen (woman) living in Italy since 10 years and my American boyfriend wants to adopt my daughter who doesn't have a father on her birth certificate. Is that possible and how can it be done?

    • Chuck profile image

      Chuck Nugent 6 years ago from Tucson, Arizona

      McCoy and others who have posted comments describing their individual circumstances and desire to become U.S. citizens, I have to remind you that the law and rules surrounding U.S. citizenship are complex. Each person's situation and circumstances are different so the best advice I can give is to contact the nearest U.S. Citizenship and Immigration office if you are in the United States or the U.S. Embassy or Consulate if you are abroad to discuss your individual case and the process, if any, you need to follow.

      You may also find my Hub recounting my experience in bringing my foreign born wife to the U.S. - While I wish each of you luck in following your dream to come to the United States to live, I am not a lawyer and not in a position to provide type of legal advice you are requesting.

    • profile image

      McCoy 6 years ago

      Well im from Hawaii i have a friend of mine that had a question regarding citizen's child left in the phillippines,the father of this child is US citizen but it was born in phillippines,is there anyway that the can apply to become a US citizen pls help thanks

    • profile image

      jEmSSnn01 6 years ago from NY

      This is an important topic I'm very interested to learn further. I have relatives abroad who will benefit from this information.

    • profile image

      Dustyrose 6 years ago

      so i am going to puerto rico to see my boyfriend, if we get married there what is my next step that i have to do

    • profile image

      Raviel 6 years ago

      Hello. My relatives are greencard holder. If they wrote a recommended letter for me to work to work for them in US (store manager. They got several wine store in San Francisco) then will I be able to apply for citizenship? If for some months or years later I quit the job and got another one then can I still got the right to stay in US? Thanks.

    • profile image

      kim 6 years ago

      I am 18 and currently in the US visiting on my 10 yr visa. However, I will be going back home to Jamaica in a week. I would love to go to college here in the US. Is it possible my uncle could file for me?

    • profile image

      Ca 6 years ago

      Hello My father is an american resident and he will become an american citizen. I would like to know if the fact of him being a citizen helps me to get the citizenship faster (I just got my green card 2 weeks ago).


    • profile image

      marco 6 years ago

      my father is a US NAVY veteran. are we eligible to get a US visa? at least a visitor's visa if not immigrant?

    • profile image

      Ann 6 years ago

      Hi I entered u.s when I was 13 for 6 months with immigrant visa now I am 24..and planning to go back, my mom is a u.s citizen when I reached 18 does it mean I'm automatic u.s citizen?

    • profile image

      Heshani 6 years ago

      I was born in USA and I have USA birth certificate issued by government also. But my family moved to my parent home country when I was 3 years old. Now I am a citizen of Sri Lanka. I want to know whether my US citizenship is still valid or should I apply for dual citizenship?

    • profile image

      Benedick Louw 6 years ago

      Very well and broadly explained! So useful and informative.

    • Jessicapotter24 profile image

      Jessicapotter24 6 years ago from Los Angeles, California

      As a reply to rich's queries:

      You can very well bring in your kids into the US based on Green card. As suggested by chuck, you would definitely get a clear idea of the entire process if you visit the Green card section of the USCIS site. If you have any doubts even after checking out the process, feel free to get back to me. Good Luck!

    • Chuck profile image

      Chuck Nugent 6 years ago from Tucson, Arizona

      cath & rich - my suggestion for both of you is to first contact the U.S. Citizenship and Immigrations Services (there is a link to their web site in the Hub above and they have offices in most cities in the U.S.) and discuss you situation with them. Depending upon how complex your case is you might also want to contact an immigration lawyer to discuss your options.

    • profile image

      cath 6 years ago

      hi!!!gud day to all...can you help me with my problem,i am a permanent resident here in california,i have my bf in the philippines together with our kids,can i petition my bf with a fiancée visa or should i get marry him in the philippines,and how long we wait if we get married in the philippines before he can go here if i marry him?or i just wait for my naturalization here i have my green card 4years a go but im not stay here in c,a for more than a year i just visit yearly.tnx

    • profile image

      rich 6 years ago

      Hi i am green card and my u.s citizen husband are not in good term anymore due of some problems..i have 3 kids in phlippines..i want to know if you have any idea how can i get my kids to be with me here in u.s ?or can i get them even im a green card holder.? there are all minor..

    • Jessicapotter24 profile image

      Jessicapotter24 6 years ago from Los Angeles, California

      As a reply to mon26's queries:

      Since you have been a Green card holder for more than the needed 5 yrs, that part of the eligibility criteria is fine. However you should show at least 920-930 days of continuous residence in the US in the total 5 yr requirement. When you have accumulated that much of days, you can file in your citizenship application. Make sure that you do not make trips out of the US for more than 6 months. Also keep a note of all your trips.

    • profile image

      mon26 6 years ago

      i have my green card 5years a go,but im not stay in usa for 5years but i visit yearly and i have my reentry i stay in usa for many years i just wait before i have my citizenship here in usa,i am permanent resident now.thanks!!!

    • profile image

      always worried! 6 years ago

      My husband and I have been married for 11yrs we have a daughter. But he is illegal entered legal but over stayed we are always worried he will get sent home. We have talked to several lawyers and they tell us to just wait till the law changes. He has been here in the US for 12yrs and pays his taxes with a TIN number we are doing all we can to follow the law. Do You see that there will ever be a way he can fix his citizenship. He is from Indonesia and did come with a passport and visa but over stayed. I wish they would make a law where once you've been here so long that you can become a citizen. Maybe pay a fine or some sort of penalty or something. Because living in fear is hard, him not driving is hard, we want to do the right thing but there seems to be no way to even start it with the laws like they are. maybe he shouldn't have overstayed but that was 12yrs ago and well to late to take it back now. And he sure has nothing to go back to. We have a life here maybe a hard life but a life that we dont want to give up just because of crazy paperwork issues.

    • Chuck profile image

      Chuck Nugent 6 years ago from Tucson, Arizona

      Sam - I suggest you contact the nearest U.S. Consulate Office or embassy in your current country to see if you are considered a U.S. citizen and if you can apply for a U.S. passport.

    • profile image

      sam 6 years ago

      We are looking at moving to the united states. My mother was born in America and I have no father listed on my birth certificate. Does this mean that I wont have a problem?

    • Chuck profile image

      Chuck Nugent 6 years ago from Tucson, Arizona

      princess - I suggest that you contact a U.S. immigration lawyer as this is a legal question.

      The fact that your father was not a U.S. citizen at the time of your birth may be a problem however, an immigration attorney can advise you about your situation and may be able to offer you some options in this matter.

    • profile image

      princess 6 years ago

      hi i have a question regarding my deceased father who was a ww2 veteran and retired us navy and serve us for 20 years in service. when he retire from navy in year late 1960s he was still single did not obtain his us citizenship and went here in the Philippines and got married and had 4 children..but when he decided to come back to USA with the family he filed his naturalization as US citizen in 1995 so we could migrate but sad to say were not able to go to the US because of his health problem and died in year 2000 my question is am i still eligible to become a us citizen tru my father's citizenship.

    • Chuck profile image

      Chuck Nugent 6 years ago from Tucson, Arizona

      jess - from recent news stories I have read, your situation appears to be becoming an increasingly common occurrence for many people who were brought here by their parents as young children.

      I suggest you contact a good immigration lawyer to discuss your situation and see what your options are.

      The local bar association in your area should have a list of local attorneys and their specialties. The telephone book's Yellow Pages section also usually has a large section containing listings for attorneys. Many attorneys also have large ads in the Yellow Pages describing their specialties and services they offer.

      Good Luck.

    • RealHousewife profile image

      Kelly Umphenour 6 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Very interesting and well written hub! I have wondered about this process. (loved the comments as well:)

    • profile image

      jess 6 years ago

      what if you were brought to the u.s when your were a child, saying at age 4. you were partically raised here, went to school, and graduated from high school as well. how will i be able to apply for myself without the help of others?

    • Harry Santos profile image

      Harry Santos 6 years ago from Metro Manila, Philippines

      I'm from the Philippines. Actually, I don't want to be a citizen. I just want to go there to tour. Sadly the process is so complex and pricey and people like me (who aren't really terrorists or won't overstay and just want to tour) are discouraged from going. It's really so annoying because for someone like me, the expenses, plus the stress, of the application is already so much and could have just been part of my savings for ticket or whatever.

    • profile image

      pozycjonowanie 6 years ago

      It was a really interesting post.

    • Rose Frankie profile image

      Rose Frankie 6 years ago

      its impressive and informative alongwith useful comments by others

    • profile image

      Jessica Potter 6 years ago

      That is really a grt idea Chuck..I guess only half of them will know the answers for the civic questions!!

    • Chuck profile image

      Chuck Nugent 6 years ago from Tucson, Arizona

      jessicapotter24 - thanks for the additional information.

      I reviewed the sample test on the USCIS website recently as my wife and two step-children were preparing to take it.

      I didn't think the sample tests were difficult and my wife and two step-children all passed it.

      However, after reviewing the civics test (which I didn't feel was difficult) I couldn't help thinking that it would be great to give it as a surprise pop-quiz to members of Congress, Washington bureaucrats and members of the mainstream media and see how many couldn't pass it.

    • Jessicapotter24 profile image

      Jessicapotter24 6 years ago from Los Angeles, California

      You have given a neat outline of the entire citizenship process.Good job! I would like to add a few points about the US citizenship test which in my opinion will add to the article.

      Scoring trend of the citizenship test

      Reading test -Reading a complete sentence without giving any extended pauses will give a pass.Pronunciation or intonation errors are usually ignored.(provided that they do not interfere with meaning of the sentence)

      Writing test - Illegible writing, using totally different words in place of the given one and writing a totally different sentence will fail an applicant

      Speaking test - Comprehending and responding meaningfully to the questions asked by the immigration officer will ensure a pass.

      What if an applicant fails the test?

      The applicant will get two chances to take the English and Civics tests per application. If the applicant does not pass any of the tests at their initial Citizenship Test and Interview, they will be retested on that portion of the test in which they failed. This retest will be held between 60 and 90 days from the date of the initial interview.The results of the test are usually intimated through mail.

    • profile image

      ShortStory 7 years ago

      Yeah, a number of those conditions are ambiguous and/or pretty flexible. That being said, all the time and expense that goes into doing things the right and legal way makes illegal immigration all the more offensive.

    • Chuck profile image

      Chuck Nugent 7 years ago from Tucson, Arizona

      brightforyou - thanks for commenting and congratulations on passing the citizenship test. I read over the questions when I downloaded them for my wife and, having lifelong interest in history, didn't think they were too difficult. My wife passed the test and a year later so did my step-daughter. My step-son took the test a couple of weeks ago and passed. He commented that he was stopped and told he had passed before being asked ten questions.

      Thanks again.

    • brightforyou profile image

      Helen 7 years ago from Florida

      Hi Chuck, well I have just become a US citizen after taking step number 3 as described accurately in your hub! I had to learn 100 questions on the history, geography, politics and economic systems in the states. Although you are only asked up to 10 questions at the interview, you still have to know all 100! I was well rehearsed when I went for my interview.. so was quite upset when I was only asked 4 questions. I wanted more! I wanted to show how hard I had worked to learn all about my 'adopted' country.

      I am British and have lived in America for 14 years. I married an American many years ago and after we divorced I remained in the states... and have had two green cards. I must say, although I still love being English, its also good to be an American!

      Thanks for your hub!

    • profile image

      Candyluvr 7 years ago

      I, personally, did not find this article helpful. It was a waste of my reading time.

    • daouady profile image

      daouady 7 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      I got my American citizenship because I married an American (I am still married to her). I am aware that men from different countries have married Americans, gotten the blue passport and left them. Ladies beware.

    • nifty@50 profile image

      nifty@50 7 years ago

      Great hub & information chuck! There is a fourth way, that is often overlooked, and that is being born in Puerto Rico! All Puerto Ricans born in Puerto Rico are Automatically Naturalized US citizens even though Puerto Rico is a US possession and not a state.

    • profile image

      tariq 7 years ago

      There are three ways to become a citizen of the United States of America. The first two are automatic and occur when a person is born in the United States or is born abroad to American citizens

      traveling or residing abroad. For these people the simple act of being born in one of the two circumstances described above automatically makes them a citizen (there are rare exceptions the most common being children born in the U.S. to parents who are either foreign heads of state or foreign diplomats – these children are not recognized as citizens of the United States). The technical legal definitions of obtaining citizenship in one of these ways are the principle of jus soli (right of birthplace) and the principle of jus sanguinis (the right of blood). The 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (which reads as follows: All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immun

    • Rudra profile image

      Rudra 7 years ago

      I will give it a pass, with the recession and the balance of power shifting to the east, USA is no longer attractive.

    • profile image

      shelby 7 years ago


    • accofranco profile image

      accofranco 7 years ago from L Island

      US Military? that sounds scary guys!! must be fully combat ready from the day of picking form, one can be enrolled straight to the war front, may be in Afg...Pa...k....I...r...N.K......South Am..... or any other deadly combat zone. need to think twice, anyway, lottery seems to be a more considerable offer to Joining the Navy, Army or any other

    • Chuck profile image

      Chuck Nugent 7 years ago from Tucson, Arizona

      Ogundeji akinyemi - thanks for your comment. As to joining the U.S. Navy (or other branches of the U.S. Armed forces) I believe that the enlisted ranks are open to non-citizens and serving in the enlisted ranks can be a route to citizenship. However, I believe that the officer ranks are limited to citizens. I suggest that you contact the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria or the nearest U.S. Consulate to see what your options would be.

      Good luck with achieving your dream.

    • profile image

      Jalus 7 years ago

      Good Hub, thanks for the information.

    • Ogundeji akinyemi profile image

      Ogundeji akinyemi 7 years ago from Lagos state, Nigeria.

      Hi, please i dont have visa but my plan is to become a naval officer.can you please help me make my dream come to reality. I love Navy.

    • Chuck profile image

      Chuck Nugent 7 years ago from Tucson, Arizona

      Nieves - As I stated in my comment to Maria above, I am not a lawyer and cannot provide advice in individual cases.

      However, I can tell you that a quick Google search revealed that the G-4 series visa is a non-immigrant class of visa which I interpret to mean that it is for temporary purposes only and not for permanent residence or citizenship.

      The G-4 visas are issued to individuals employed by international organizations and stationed in the U.S. Families of such individuals are also eligible to be issued this series of visa as well.

      There doesn't seem to be any limit on the term of such visas other than the fact that the visa is only good so long as the person remains employed by the international organization.

      Your best bet would be to seek the advice of a good immigration attorney to see if you can convert to another class of visa that allows you to seek permanent residence or citizenship.

    • Chuck profile image

      Chuck Nugent 7 years ago from Tucson, Arizona

      maria - I am not a lawyer and cannot provide advice for individual situations. The purpose of this Hub is to provide general information about the citizenship process and the general requirements for becoming a U.S. citizen.

      For many this will be sufficient, however, for special situations, such as yours, the only thing I can suggest is to consult, or have your husband consult if he is residing in the U.S., an immigration lawyer for advice and assistance. If you cannot afford a lawyer there are some attorneys who will provide some general advice at no charge or take on a case pro bono (i.e., at little or no charge). There are also some churches and other organizations that will provide some help in this area at little or no charge.

    • dawnM profile image

      Dawn Michael 7 years ago from THOUSAND OAKS

      great information, well written, it is interesting back 50 years ago my father served in the army and he was not a citizen, the day that they issued his citizenship his father passed away adn he never got it, 30 years he applied for it and they gave him a hard time and he served in the army a little crazy I think....

    • jaymelee23 profile image

      jaymelee23 7 years ago from United States

      Great information for people looking to become citizens. I'm sure this will extremely helpful.

    • profile image

      Nieves 7 years ago

      I'm married to a G4 visa holder. I have a G4 visa myself because of him. I have lived in the USA for 9 years. How can I become a citizen?

    • profile image

      maria 7 years ago

      I am married to the american citizenship and my daughter 2 years old is american citizen husband cant make petition me because he dont have work, how I am apply visa that company my daughter going usa?

    • Rudra profile image

      Rudra 8 years ago

      how about if i enter as a student and then find an employer that will give me a job?

    • Chuck profile image

      Chuck Nugent 8 years ago from Tucson, Arizona

      someonewhoknows - thanks for visiting and for your comment, although I must admit I don't quite understand much of what you wrote.

      However, at the end you are clearly wrong about Canada. The last time I checked Canadian elected officials, if they swear an oath to anyone it is to the Queen of Canada who also happens to be the Queen of England and a hundred or so other nations. Canada is a sovereign nation that just happens to share a Queen with England.

    • someonewhoknows profile image

      someonewhoknows 8 years ago from south and west of canada,north of ohio

      American citizens and UNITED STATES CITIZENS

      Most people think that everyone living in one one of the states that make up The united states are UNITED STATES CITIZENS.- Meaning the "District of Columbia" which is limited as to what it can do in any state by the constitution of the united states.

      According to the constitution the federal government cannot enforce any laws on any state that takes away their God given rights.

      If,on the other hand we are not living under the constitution,then we are living under another type of law.Perhaps we are living under International Universal Commercial Code. The U.C.C. which is simply the law of commerce. Which has to do with debts and credits.

      If,we are living under Corporate law then There must be a Corporation called "THE UNITED STATES".

      You probably have heard of states,cites and towns getting a corporate charter.The same with schools,Institutions like medical organizations,The Americam medical Association,A.M.A. They are all corporate entities.

      We have state laws that say ,if you are required to pay federal income tax,then you are also required to pay the state income tax.The reasoning behind that the states are subsidaries of the corporate UNITED STATES.How can this be if the states created the united states government? The only reason it can be is a conspiracy between certain factions in government to make the state governments subservient to the federal government.

      If,you are a UNITED STATES CITIZEN ,you are not an American citizen who is free to live as the original united states constituton was written.If,you think so.Try using the constitution when you try to defend yourself and see how far you get.American history is full of examples of unconstututional laws being passed by congress,and being struck down by the U.S.Supreme court prior to 1938.These court decisions are no longer seen as valid by today's Supreme court.So,much for constutional law.

      Those don't know their rights ,have no rights.

      Ignorance of the law is no excuse.

      Common law is almost unknown anymore.The common law courts have all disappeared.

      America's legal system was inherited from the British legal system.In fact the American bar association is a franchise of the British bar association.

      America may have won the war of Independence temporarily as we are far from Independent from the tyranny of British rule even today.All we need do to see what kind of government that might be is to look at Canada's government.All of those who are elected in Canada have to swear an oath to the Queen of England.Yet,Canada is seen as an independent country by most countries,when in fact they are simply another British colony and America's states are returning to the same government,that of a British colony.

      If,we insist on our constitutional rights we may get to keep them,but,if we give in to what they want us to do,then we can only blame ourselves.There is a famous saying,"The best slave is one who thinks he is free."

      "Those who are willing to give up their liberty for a little security,deserve neither security nor liberty."

    • msorensson profile image

      msorensson 8 years ago

      Wow, thanks. I knew almost all of them except the lottery!

      Great hub, thanks.

    • chafiq555 profile image

      chafiq555 8 years ago from Gatlinburg

      very detailed and informative hub. I give it an A+.

      Thank you for your help.

    • jenny hill profile image

      jenny hill 8 years ago

      Nice hub :) I am from India, Few of my friends are doing job in US. Now they are looking for US citizenship,Will show them this Hub, I think That will help them.

    • Tackle This profile image

      Tackle This 8 years ago

      I believe that in order to remain an American citizen, a person should be required to, in some fashion, contribute to the American landscape. For all I care, North-american terrorists and leeches should leave.

    • mysoberlife profile image

      mysoberlife 9 years ago

      Interesting and very useful hub.Thank you!

    • profile image

      shreekrishna 9 years ago

      thanks ,

      nice info

    • leeroper profile image

      leeroper 9 years ago from UK

      In comparison to the UK, I really think the US have hit the nail on the head with the naturalized citizen requirements. Especially point 4, 5 and 6 mentioned in the Hub.It sends a message to say we are open to you coming, but you must understand that you will now be living in America, so you need to understand us.I don't think we have anything quite like this in the UK and it shows.

    • profile image

      James 9 years ago

      Helloo am jimmy and always had wished to work and stay in america..can i get citizenship if i would apply for scholarship and won at US universities?

    • profile image

      saggay 10 years ago

      dude i got an A+ .THANKS SAGGAY AND FRIEND

    • profile image

      saggay  10 years ago

      chuck you really helped me and my friend The Runs out a lot!! we where doing a school project on how to become a u.s citizen. Thanks again!! -Saggay & The Runs

    • profile image

      drama 10 years ago

      this page was to me was no use i actually found it...pretty much worthless and a bit racists

    • profile image

      russell web 10 years ago

      cheers jimmy

    • Chuck profile image

      Chuck Nugent 11 years ago from Tucson, Arizona

      Thanks Jimmy. And congrats to you on getting your wife writing for hubpages.

    • jimmythejock profile image

      James Paterson 11 years ago from Scotland

      congrats chuck on your 100th hub welcome to club allstar lol.....jimmy