How Is Citizenship Granted

Citizenship is defined as a relationship between an individual and a country involving the person’s allegiance and membership to that country. The Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution provides that all persons born or naturalized in the United States are citizens.

However, children born in the United States to foreign diplomatic officers are not entitled to US citizenship at birth. Citizenship may be acquired for those born outside the United States if one or both parents are US citizens. This is called derivative (duh-RIHV-uh-tiv) citizenship. The laws that govern derivative citizenship are controlled by Congress, not the Constitution, and are subject to change from time to time.

US citizenship can also be granted through a process called naturalization, which carries all the rights, duties, and privileges of citizenship obtained by persons born in the US.

You can lose your US citizenship whether you’re native or naturalized.

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