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The Difference Between U.S. Citizenship & Naturalization November 15, 2016

Downtown Honolulu, Honolulu
The Difference Between U.S. Citizenship & Naturalization, Honolulu, Hawaii

A Certificate of Citizenship and a Certificate of Naturalization serve essentially the same purpose: to prove that the holder is, in fact, a U.S. citizen. However, each document tells a different story. A Certificate of Citizenship informs others that although an individual was born abroad, they were able to obtain US citizenship via their U.S. citizen parent or parents. A Certificate of Naturalization, however, is granted to a lawful permanent resident (LPR) after he or she fulfills the requirements established by the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). At the Law Office of Carmen DiAmore-Siah in Honolulu, HI, our immigration lawyers help clients with their U.S. citizenship needs, and to fully understand the rights that come with their citizenship filing status.

Key Differences Between Citizenship & Naturalization

One of the key differences between achieving U.S. citizenship status through one’s parents and achieving it through naturalization is that a person born to American parents does not have to undergo the stringent immigration requirements required of a foreign national. In order for a foreign national to become a U.S. citizen, they must first obtain a green card. Once they have their green card, they will be considered for U.S. citizenship only if they meet the strict eligibility requirements, including but not limited to:

  • The ability to read, write, and speak basic English
  • A Basic understanding of U.S. history and government
  • Good moral character
  • Demonstrate an attachment to the principles and ideals of the U.S. Constitution.

Additionally, naturalization is a ten-step process that requires multiple forms to be filled out, tests to be taken, and an Oath of Allegiance to be given before it can be completed.

naturalizationWhile the process of obtaining U.S. citizenship may be more difficult for a foreign national, once a person has citizenship, they are entitled to the same rights as a person born to or adopted by US parents. Both a Certificate of Citizenship and a Certificate of Naturalization grant the holder the right to vote in the United States, the right to obtain a U.S. passport, and all other basic rights available to U.S. citizens and natives (except for the right to run for President).

At the Law Office of Carmen DiAmore-Siah, our immigration lawyers help clients navigate U.S. immigration law and ensure that they meet the immigration requirements set forth by the U.S. government. If you hope to obtain U.S. citizenship and want to learn more about your options for doing so, visit our website today or call (808) 531-2277.

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