Many immigrants in Kentucky and across the United States may dream of one day obtaining U.S. citizenship, a process also known as "naturalization." Becoming a U.S. citizen brings with it certain rights and responsibilities that those without citizenship do not enjoy. The following are just some of the rights and responsibilities that come with naturalization.
U.S. citizens have the right to vote and the right to hold public office, except for offices of the presidency and vice-presidency. They can obtain a U.S. passport, so they are free to travel around the world, and to be protected by the U.S. government while travelling in other nations. Any children under age 18 of U.S. citizens are automatically also U.S. citizens. U.S. citizens can also sponsor immediate relatives for visas without the delay experienced by those who only have U.S. permanent residency.
However, there are also responsibilities that come with being a U.S. citizen. The person becoming a U.S. citizen must give up any allegiances to other nations and give their allegiance to the U.S. instead. They must swear to support and defend U.S. law. Finally, they must serve the United States if required to do so, for example by serving in the armed forces.
Those who have U.S. permanent residency and are in the process of seeking U.S. citizenship have rights and responsibilities to look forward to. The naturalization process has numerous steps and requirements. However, with legal guidance and perseverance, U.S. permanent residents may be able to complete the naturalization process, making their dream of becoming a U.S. citizen a reality.