Birth in the United States
Children bom in the U.S. are automatically U.S. citizens, regardless of the immigration status of their parents.
Birth outside the U.S. to U.S. citizen parents
Certain children bom abroad to U.S. citizen parents are automatically citizens of the U.S.
Naturalization of parents
A child bom outside the U.S. may automatically become an U.S. citizen if both parents become U.S. citizens prior to the child’s 18th birthday. It does not matter if both parents naturalize, or if one parent is an U.S. citizen by birth and the other an U.S. citizen by naturalization.
Adoption by U.S. citizen parents
Certain children adopted and in the physical custody of their U.S. citizen parents for at least two years may acquire U.S. citizenship. The child must be under the age of 16 at the time of the legal adoption.
The general rule is that anyone over the age of 18 who has been a legal permanent resident alien for at last five (5) years may apply for naturalization. The applicant must have been physically present in the U.S. for at least 30 months out of the five years prior to the date of filing of the application and must have resided for at least three months within the state in which the application is filed. The applicant must demonstrate good moral character, be attached to the principles of the U.S.
Constitution, be willing to bear arms on behalf of the U.S. or perform other work of national importance, and must not otherwise be barred from naturalizing, e.g., as having committed an aggravated felony. All naturalization applicants will be fingerprinted by the USCIS and have their criminal backgrounds reviewed by the FBI.
The applicant must demonstrate a basic ability to read, write, speak, and understand the English language.