How a US Citizenship may be acquired
To become a citizen of the United States, the individual is given the highest form of privilege. There are two ways where an individual may be conferred a US citizenship which may be by birth and by naturalization. A person is presumed citizen of the United States if he is born within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States. A person may also become a naturalized citizen, by applying for naturalization. An immigrant normally applies for naturalization, and if successful, he may be granted US citizenship.
To become a US citizen under naturalization procedure, the person complies with five (5) requirements, which include:
- Age: The age requirement for the applicant for naturalization must be 18 years old;
- Language: The comprehension of the applicant by way of his skills in reading, writing, and speaking of the English language;
- Residency: Lawful residency of applicant within the US for a minimum of five (5) years or must have an Alien Registration Card (Form I-551) and applicant must be physically present in the U.S. for at least 30 months within that five-year period;
- Good Moral Character: The applicant must show good moral character during the five (5) year period or only, three (3) years if married to a U.S. citizen or one (1) year for some military service; and
- Oath of Allegiance. Applicant has to declare his willingness to support and defend the U.S. Constitution.
The rights and obligations conferred to US citizens
US Citizenship denotes that the person is a member of a political unit in the United with specific rights, privileges, and duties granted to its citizens. Specifically, the citizen has the right to live, work, study and live in the United States and entitled to support and protection by the Federal government. In addition, by virtue of the US citizenship, the citizen has the right to defend and protect the constitution of the United States.
Duties of a citizen of the United States:
- A US citizen has to be obedient to the US constitution and other laws of the land. The most significant duty of a citizen, which the law provides sanctions for any act of disobedience;
- A US citizen has to pay accurate taxes owed to the US government. He has to pay all the taxes due to the government in the manner provided by law;
- A US citizen may serve as a witness. A citizen has to make himself available if summoned by court to serve as a witness and comply with the court’s decision;
- A US citizen may serve as a Jury. It is the right of any American citizen to serve as a juror. His duty as a juror is to appear in court, hear evidence presented during trial and to decide whether the defendant brought before the jury is guilty or not;
- All citizens must exercise his right to vote. It is a privilege given to all citizens to participate in the electoral process. Citizens have to exercise their right to vote and elect their representatives; and
- Citizens who turned 18 years old must register with the Selective Service System. This is a mandatory compliance under the law. Registration to the Selective Service applies only to men.
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