Introduction to American Citizenship



The two most common ways a person obtains U.S. Citizenship are birth and naturalization.  Las Vegas Immigration Lawyer Robert West can discuss with you the best way to become an American Citizen or even discover that you have become a U.S. Citizen at birth or through the naturalization of your parents.


Any person born in the United States subject to the jurisdiction of the United States is automatically a United States Citizen at birth. Also, a child born to one Citizen parent and one Non Citizen parent is a Citizen at birth if the Citizen parent has five years of residence in the United States and two of the five must be after his or her fourteenth birthday prior to the birth of the child. This has been the law since 1986. Prior to 1986, the rules vary from different periods of time.  A consultation with Las Vegas Immigration Attorney Robert West would be the fastest way to determine American Citizenship for you or your family.


Naturalization has more than one meaning and is defined under the Immigration and Nationality Act as the conferring of nationality of a state after birth by any means whatsoever. The most common type of Naturalization is when a person who is a lawful permanent resident of the United States  applies for U.S. Citizenship with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services and takes the naturalization examination and passes that examination and meets all of the requirements.  Then, a citizenship ceremony is scheduled.  A person will take the oath of citizenship and be granted U.S. Citizenship at the ceremony.

The other types of Naturalization occur when a parent or parents becomes United States Citizens and their child obtains derivative Citizenship. The derivative Citizen is given a Certificate of Citizenship. This type of Citizenship grants all of the same rights as Natural Born Citizens except the person cannot run for the office of the Presidency of the United States.

This is a general overview of U.S. Citizenship. For answers to your specific questions please set up a consultation with Las Vegas Immigration Lawyer Robert West today at (702) 319-5459.


If you have been convicted of any crimes since becoming a lawful permanent resident, do not apply for U.S. Citizenship until you have spoken with Las Vegas Immigration Attorney Robert West.  You may not be eligible for U.S. Citizenship and may be deportable.  Only an initial appointment can determine your situation.  Be safe not sorry.  Please call to schedule an appointment.

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