Social Studies - 2018-19

CE.3a - Process of Citizenship

The student will apply social science skills to understand citizenship and the rights, duties, and responsibilities of citizens by

a) describing the processes by which an individual becomes a citizen of the United States;

Adopted: 2015



A citizen is an individual with certain rights and duties under a government who, by birth or by choice, owes allegiance to that government.


The 14th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States defines citizenship as follows: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and the state wherein they reside.”

Means of obtaining citizenship

 By birth

 By naturalization

Immigration and naturalization, particularly in the twentieth century, have led to an increasingly diverse society.

To become a citizen through naturalization, a person must

 be at least 18 years old

 be a legal resident of the United States for 3–5 or more years

 be of good moral character and be loyal to the United States

 be able to read, write, and speak basic English

 pass a naturalization test

 take the Oath of Allegiance at a naturalization ceremony


Updated: May 16, 2018