Role of Citizen

A citizen is a member of his or her country.  If you are a citizen of the United States you are a free man or woman with the rights and responsibilities of a U.S. citizen. A citizen is free to make choices and pick the people who will govern the country. As a U.S. citizen you have rights and freedoms that are protected by the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and other Amendments to the Constitution. An American  citizen also has some responsibilities. Obeying the law at the local, state, and national levels is an example of one of these responsibilities. The United States is a democratic society. As a part of a democratic society, a citizen is expected to meet the responsibilities of voting, paying taxes, staying informed, defending the country, and serving on juries. American citizens, young and old, can help their communities, states, and the nation become a better place to live. As an American citizen, you do have a voice.

A person who is living in the United States who is not a citizen is considered an alien. An immigrant to the U.S. is a person from another country with the purpose of living here. An immigrant would be considered an alien.  If a person who is not a citizen wishes to become a U.S. citizen, there are several ways to do this. 

The two main ways that an individual can become an American Citizen is by birth and the Naturalization Process.

Citizenship by Birth

A child who is born in the U.S., even if the parents are not citizens, are considered U.S. citizens by birth.  Also, a child that is born outside of the United States to military personnel or to individuals working abroad is considered a U.S. citizen. Children born in the U.S. to parents that are not citizens have dual citizenship, U.S. citizenship and citizenship from the country of the parents' origin. Then at 18 years of age, the child may choose one of the countries for permanent citizenship.

Click on the page Citizenship By Naturalization to learn more about the Naturalization Process that those persons desiring to become a U.S. citizen must go through to become an American citizen.


Return to the Beginning