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What’s the Difference Between Naturalization and Citizenship?

When you’re applying to become a United States citizen, learning all the terms involved can become confusing. However, it’s critical to understand these different terms so you know what you have to do in order to live and work here and eventually become a citizen. 

In order to get started, here is the difference between naturalization and citizenship.

Naturalization vs. Citizenship 

You are a citizen of the U.S. if you have a U.S. Certificate of Citizenship, and you are somebody who acquires or has citizenship because your birth parents are in the U.S. On the flipside, you’ll receive a naturalization certificate if you become a citizen through the naturalization process. 

Becoming a Citizen

If you aren’t eligible to become a U.S. citizen through your birth parents, then you’ll have to go through the naturalization process. Essentially, you’ll need to be at least 18 years of age, be a lawful permanent resident of the U.S. for a minimum of five years before you apply, be able to understand English, pass a civics test, and be of good moral character. 

Starting an Application for Naturalization

To start your application, fill out Form N-400, the Application for Naturalization, send in two photographs that meet the requirements, collect your necessary documents, and apply via a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Service Center. 

Contact a Florida Immigration Attorney

Do you have questions about gaining naturalization or citizenship? Then contact U.S. Immigration Law Counsel through our website or by calling 1-800-666-4996. We deal with the government so you don’t have to. We look forward to assisting you.