United States Citizenship

Citizenship in the United States, being a citizen, is a status that entails specific rights, privileges, and duties. Citizenship is understood as a "right to have rights" since it serves as a foundation for a bundle of subsequent rights, such as the right to live and work in the United States and to receive federal assistance. There are two primary sources of citizenship: birthright citizenship, in which a person is presumed to be a citizen provided that he is born within the territorial limits of the United States, or other circumstances existing at the time of their birth (for example, citizenship of a parent) and naturalization, a process in which an immigrant applies for citizenship and is accepted. These two pathways to citizenship are specified in the Citizenship Clause of the Constitution's 1868 Fourteenth Amendment which reads: National citizenship signifies membership in the country as a whole; state citizenship, in contrast, signifies a relation between a person and a particular state and has application generally limited to domestic matters. State citizenship may affect (1) tax decisions and (2) eligibility for some state-provided benefits such as higher education and (3) eligibility for state political posts such as U.S. Senator. In Article One of the Constitution, the power to establish a "uniform rule of naturalization" is granted explicitly to Congress. U.S. law permits multiple citizenship. A citizen of another country naturalized as a U.S. citizen may retain their previous citizenship, though they must renounce allegiance to the other country. A U.S. citizen retains U.S. citizenship when becoming the citizen of another country, should that country's laws allow it. Citizenship can be renounced by American citizens who also hold another citizenship via a formal procedure at a U.S. Embassy, and it can also be restored.

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