Citizenship is an important concept with significant legal implications, so it is important to understand. Becoming a citizen of the United States occurs through birth or the naturalization process. For those not born in the U.S. but seeking citizenship, it is valuable to understand citizenship basics, such as how to obtain it.

Those born to U.S. citizens are generally considered citizens. Those born in the United States or a U.S. territory are also generally considered citizens unless they are born to a foreign diplomat in the United States. The birth certificate is considered proof of citizenship and an individual’s citizenship status. There can be complexities associated with a birth to U.S. citizens abroad, though, such as residency requirements, so it might be helpful for some to familiarize themselves with this process.

Individuals who are not U.S. citizens but are seeking U.S. citizenship can seek citizenship through the naturalization process. Individuals who are 18 years old or older can pursue citizenship through the application for naturalization. There are different options for those under the age of 18, so it is wise for those who are dealing with this matter to seek legal counsel. It is worth noting that it is important to disclose all arrests and convictions to the immigration officer and to be as truthful as possible in the application process.

If an application for naturalization is denied, those seeking citizenship should be aware that there is an administrative review process for those who want to appeal the denial of their application. The process of obtaining citizenship is one of the most important concerns many individuals and families face, which is why they should consider having a strong legal ally on their side when confronting citizenship issues.