The HMA Law FirM


US Citizenship: The Basics

Citizenship binds people under basic ideals and principles. Thus, it is the maximum benefit that an immigrant can obtain. What makes it different from LPR? Simple, the full enjoyment of all rights. Thus, this includes the right to vote and the right to pass it on to the next generation. Thousands of immigrants a year obtain US citizenship. Here we will explain its basic tenets.

How to become a U.S. citizen?

There are four ways to obtain US citizenship. These are: by birth, naturalization, acquisition, and derivation. Below, we will explain them.


Granted at birth in the US. Citizenship is for life unless renounced. Clearly, this is the most common way to obtain US citizenship.

A foreign national may aspire to become a US citizen. How? By meeting certain eligibility requirements. Plus, one must submit form N-400 and take the citizenship test.


This is an automatic process at birth. Yet, it applies to children not born in US territory. In turn, it is also applied to foreign adopted children.


A child may become a citizen by derivation if a parent naturalizes. They must be under 18, have a green card, and live with his or her naturalized parent. Thus, they will no longer have to file the N-400 form or take the tests.

 Step-by-step to obtain US citizenship

This process for citizenship requires certain eligibility conditions. If you are an eligible candidate, you must file the N-400 form. You can do it online or on paper. In turn, it is necessary to comply with the requirements and pay the fees. Then, you will proceed with the biometric services, interview, and citizenship test. In order to apply for citizenship by naturalization, you must:

-Have at least 3 years of LPR if you are married to a US citizen.

-Have at least 5 years of LPR if you are not married to a US citizen.

Citizenship can be obtained through parents by acquisition and derivation. At the legal level, it is a somewhat complex process. This is due to various changes to immigration laws. Thus, the steps to follow or eligibility conditions depend on the applicable law.

Children must be unmarried and at least one of their parents must be a U.S. citizen. The laws consider other factors such as the permanence of the parents in the US territory.

What are the benefits of being a citizen?

First, it will no longer be necessary to carry or renew a green card. A US citizen cannot be deported. You won’t have issues to enter and leave the U.S. territory. The status is not lost when traveling for an extended period of time.

US Citizenship may also granted to your spouse and children. In fact, it will be granted automatically to children under 18 years of age. Further, you can become the sponsor of your siblings and parents.

A naturalized citizen enjoys all the duties and rights of US citizens. They may vote and run for most public offices. Plus, they will be able to work as a civil servant, obtain scholarships and other benefits.

Plus, you will be eligible for a US passport, and assistance from consulates and embassies.

Applying for US citizenship is one of the most important decisions for any immigrant. It is also one of the most complex processes handled by USCIS. It is essential to have a professional team that provides the best advice.

At HMA Law Firm, we have attorneys specialized in immigration. We offer you the necessary support during all the steps of the naturalization process. All your paperwork, in the hands of the most qualified professionals. We are ready to guide you to obtain American citizenship, contact us!

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