For those in California wishing to become a naturalized United States citizen, there are no shortage of benefits to doing so. Children who are born abroad to parents who are U.S. citizens are citizens no matter where they are born, but there are several other paths to naturalization. A citizen will also have the ability to ask for assistance from the United States government while traveling abroad due to having a U.S. passport.
Those who are naturalized will have the ability to vote in federal elections and run as candidates for federal offices. In some cases, becoming naturalized will allow an individual to take part in state elections that may only be open to citizens. In addition, those who are naturalized citizens may be allowed to apply for federal jobs or petition to bring in family members from overseas even if they are not citizens.
To start the naturalization process, an individual will fill out Form 400-N, pay the application fee and submit the application. The process of naturalization may take up to six months from start to finish. Minors who are citizens because of their parents should fill out Form 600-N or Form 600-K to certify their citizenship. Those who fill out the application are encouraged to be forthcoming and honest when answering any questions asked of them.
An individual who becomes naturalized is treated by the government just like any other citizen of the United States. Anyone who has questions about the process or the eligibility for naturalization may wish to consult with an immigration attorney who can answer questions that a client may have as well as resolve issues that may arise as the process plays out.
Source: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, “A Guide to Naturalization,” accessed on Jan. 12, 2015