United States Citizenship

Knowing How to Be and Becoming a U.S. Citizen

Where Natural Born American Citizens Come From

A natural born United States citizen has to be born in the U.S. or in one of it's territories. The territories are a wide variety of all the 50 states of the America. Other territories are:

-Midway Islands

-Puerto Rico

-America Samoa

-Virgin Islands

-Federated States of Micronesia

-Marshall Islands

-Northern Marina Islands



If You're Not a Natural Born U.S. Citizen...

If you weren't actually born in America, there are other ways you can be or become a citizen.

One of the ways you can be a citizen is if at least one of your parents is a U.S. citizen. It doesn't matter where you are born in the world, but as long as one of them is a citizen, you will be considered a citizen.

If you're from another country and you want to come to America and live here, you will need to be naturalized. Being naturalized means that you've gone through the process of becoming a citizen.

The USCIS Becoming a U.S.Citizen Video

This video is a summary of the process and information about becoming naturalized. It has little stories about immigrants stories of why they came here, when you can apply, and the several steps of becoming processed through naturalization.

USCIS Becoming a U S Citizen: An Overview of the Naturalization Process

Step 1 of Becoming Naturalized

You have to submit an application to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The applicant has to be filled out truthfully because it will be looked over once sent in and the USCIS will look at your information and make sure that they're allowing a safe immigrant into the U.S.

The following video explains what the application asks for you to fill out...

Learn How to Fill the Citizenship Application N-400 Application for Naturalization

Step 2 of Becoming Naturalized

The person who is filling out the application has to prove the following qualifications for citizenship:

- Age 18 years or older - Legal residence in the country for at least 5 years; in state for at least 3 months - Good moral character (meaning that there's a good background to you and that you're not a criminal) - Loyalty to the principles of the U.S. Constitution - Ability to read, write, and speak the English language - Knowledge of the history and form of government of the United States

Step 3 of Becoming Naturalized

After the whole process, you will have to have a court appearance. This is where the USCIS responds to your application. The judge has the applicant take an oath of loyalty to the Untied States and then the applicant will receive a certificate of citizenship.

The video below is an example to a citizenship court taking place in Cincinnati.

60 people become naturalized citizens

In order to become a citizen, you MUST learn English, study and know American history, and learn the values, laws, rights, and duties of a citizen.


Practice Citizenship Quiz: (on this, you can take a quiz on the American Government, American History, or Civics. Also, if you scroll down a little bit, there is a 'Place the States' game where you try to put all of the states in the right spot.)


Citizenship Games: (easier multiple choice quiz)


The Office of Citizen

As citizens, we have the power to elect our own representatives. Representatives are people who are chosen to speak and act for their fellow citizens in government. We elect these people to go into office and make decisions and pass laws. We also have the power to take a representative out of office if needed/wanted. One reason why we may do this is because they are not making the kinds of decisions we expected and or wanted them to. If he/she is sent out of office, the citizens then gain the "office of citizen". That is the most important office there is and we as citizens hold that office for life.

Rights of Citizens

We have the right to...

*vote and to hold elected office - vote for who we want as president, governor, or any other kind of representative and we can be president, governor, or any kind of representative if wanted.

*say what you think in speech or in writing - you can give your opinion or anything you want at any given time, but make sure it is an appropriate time to say what you want to say.

*practice your own religion - you can choose and practice the religion of your choice (catholic, lutheran, muslim, etc.).

*have a fair trial - meaning that you're not accused of something that you didn't do, have an equal amount of support on each side of the case, having witnesses, lawyers, etc.

Duties of Citizens

The duties of citizens include...

*obeying laws - laws are made for a certain reason; to keep the U.S. a safe living environment and to keep every citizen in line.

*defending the nation - you can either join the U.S. military or any armed forces, or you can simply defend the nation by keeping your belief in the American beliefs and stop harm and crimes from taking place.

*serving on a jury or as a witness in court - this will either help decide if an accused person is a criminal and send them to jail/prison or you will help either defend your side or go against the other side.

*paying taxes - everybody has to pay taxes in order to keep the government running, pays for government and services, helps fix local and states repairs (ex: county roads, highways)

*attending school - you must attend some type of schooling whether if it would be private, public, or homeschooling until the age of 18 (sometimes there is an acceptance of having to be the age of 19).

Responsibilities of Citizens

As a citizen, you should try to help work toward the Common Good. The Common Good helps protect the rights and freedoms of Americans and make our communities good places to live. Whether you contribute to this by helping pick up litter on the side of a county or highway road or simply just voicing in your opinion in a public meeting.

Another responsibility is to vote. This is the most important responsibility that we have because this helps decide who will either be the leader of our country, or who will represent our state. The decisions we make based on all of the votes will decide who helps to make our rules and laws and who will help to do their best to keep our country safe.

Other responsibilities are holding government office, participating in election campaigns, influencing government, or help serve our community.

Duties and Responsibilities Video

Duties and Responibilties.wmv


*http://americanhistory.about.com/library/charts/blchartterritories.htm - Territories

*Chapter 3 in Civics textbook

*Varius google searches for pictures