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Criteria for acquisition of citizenship after birth

On Behalf of | Feb 14, 2022 | Citizenship |

Citizenship allows people to have access to basic rights and services, such as education, health care and Social Security. In some cases, citizenship can also be used to protect people from being deported from their country. If you live in Pennsylvania, here are the criteria you can use to acquire citizenship after birth.


Naturalization is the process where a person born outside the U.S. becomes a citizen either without any effort on the immigrant’s part or through an application. To be eligible for naturalization, you must meet several requirements, including being at least 18 years old, having been a lawful permanent resident for at least five years, demonstrating good moral character and passing a civics and English exam.

Derivation of citizenship

You can also derive citizenship from your parent or grandparents who are legal citizens in the United States. If you are taking this route, you must:

  • Have been born in the United States or outlying possessions of the United States
  • Have one or both parents who are U.S. citizens
  • Have resided in the U.S. or its outlying possessions continuously from birth to the time of filing for citizenship
  • Be under 18 years old

Certificate of citizenship

Lastly, if you were born outside the United States, your parents with U.S. citizenship can use a document known as a certificate of citizenship to recognize and confirm your citizenship status. Keep in mind that this does not grant citizenship, but it makes it easier for you to get a green card. To be eligible, you must satisfy the following basic requirement before your 18th birthday:

  • Your biological parents must be U.S. citizens.
  • You must be a lawful permanent resident.
  • You must live in the United States under the legal custody of your U.S. citizen parents.

If you meet any of these criteria, you can apply for U.S. citizenship. If you don’t, you can still explore other ways to become a permanent resident in the country.


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