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:
-Federated States of Micronesia
-Northern Marina Islands
If You're Not a Natural Born U.S. 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
Step 1 of Becoming Naturalized
The following video explains what the application asks for you to fill out...
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
The video below is an example to a citizenship court taking place in Cincinnati.
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.
Citizenship Games: (easier multiple choice quiz)
The Office of Citizen
Rights of Citizens
*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
*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
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.