What Are the Requirements and Responsibilities of a U.S. Citizen?

waving american flag

It takes a lot of hard work to become a naturalized citizen of the United States. And once you gain this status, there are serious responsibilities that you must continue to uphold. Follow along to find out the requirements and responsibilities of a United States citizen and how a proficient Baltimore County, Maryland citizenship lawyer at the Sheri Hoidra Law Office, LLC can help you in achieving this.

What are the requirements for becoming a United States citizen?

Before all else, there are residency requirements when it comes to filing Form N-400, Application for Naturalization. For example, if you came to the United States as a lawful permanent resident, then you must have been living in the country for the past five years; or three years if you also served in the United States military. If you came to seek asylum, this requirement is four years. And if you came as a spouse of a citizen, then this requirement is three years.

Once you make it through this requirement, then you must confirm that you meet these criteria as well:

  • You must have had a continuous physical presence in the United States.
  • You must be at least 18 years of age.
  • You must be able to read, write, and speak in basic English.
  • You must be able to recite a basic understanding of the United States government and its history.
  • You must be able to recite an Oath of Allegiance to the United States.
  • You must have loyalty toward the principles outlined in the United States Constitution.
  • You must have a good moral character.

What are my responsibilities once I become a United States citizen?

To reiterate, the hard work does not stop once you are granted citizenship status. That is, as a United States citizen, you hold the following responsibilities:

  • You must succumb when you are summoned to jury duty, to participate in the highly-valued democratic process.
  • You must stay informed on local, state, and federal issues, to properly exercise your right to vote.
  • You must abide by local, state, and federal laws.
  • You must support and defend the United States Constitution.
  • You must pay income taxes in a timely and honest manner.

In the end, being a United States citizen comes with its benefits. Just some examples are the right to receive government benefits, to apply for federal jobs, and to bring over your family members and minor children to the county, among other things. These reasons alone are why this is a highly desired status in the first place.

So, if you are ready and willing to kickstart this naturalization process, then you must employ a talented Baltimore County, Maryland immigration lawyer today. We look forward to working alongside you.