Naturalization is the process of becoming a citizen of the United States, the same as you would be if the U.S. was your place of birth. Naturalization requires commitment and is not a decision you should make lightly.
When you become a naturalized citizen, you have the same rights that all citizens enjoy, whether naturalized or born on U.S. soil. However, citizenship also carries with it some important responsibilities.
Responsibilities of U.S. Citizenship
Before you can become naturalized, you have to learn all about civic government and how it functions. The United States is a democracy, meaning that the expectation is that all citizens will take on active civic duties.
According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, your responsibilities as a citizen include obeying all laws, paying your income taxes to the appropriate government agency and participating in the democratic process by voting. So that you can make good decisions, you have a responsibility to stay informed on issues that affect your community. You also have the responsibility to respect the rights of others.
Rights of U.S. Citizens
The Declaration of Independence, the document that established the United States as its own country, states that all people, including U.S. citizens, have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. What does this mean in practical terms? Well, as a few examples, as a citizen of the U.S., you have the right to worship as you wish and to express yourself without interference from the government. Should you find yourself under arrest, you have the right to a trial by a jury of your peers in a timely manner.
U.S. citizenship also gives you the right to pursue career options that would not be available to you otherwise. For example, you can apply for jobs in the federal government that require citizenship. You can also run for any elected office except President of the United States, whom the Constitution says has to be a natural-born citizen.