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naturalization,official act by which a person is made a national of a country other than his or her native one. In some countries naturalized persons do not necessarily become citizenscitizen,
member of a state, native or naturalized, who owes allegiance to the government of the state and is entitled to certain rights. Citizens may be said to enjoy the most privileged form of nationality; they are at the furthest extreme from nonnational residents of a state
..... Click the link for more information. but may merely acquire a new nationalitynationality,
in political theory, the quality of belonging to a nation, in the sense of a group united by various strong ties. Among the usual ties are membership in the same general community, common customs, culture, tradition, history, and language.
..... Click the link for more information. . There is no such limitation in the United States; the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution declares that "all persons born or naturalized in the United States" and subject to U.S. jurisdiction are citizens. Article 1, Section 8, of the Constitution gives Congress the power to enact uniform naturalization laws. These laws require the renunciation of previous national allegiance (see expatriationexpatriation,
loss of nationality. Such loss is usually, although not necessarily, voluntary. Generally it applies to those persons who have renounced nationality and citizenship in one country to become citizens or subjects of another. According to U.S.
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Under the first American statute (1790) all unindentured white males who had lived in the United States for two years might become citizens. The period of residence was lengthened to five years in 1795 and, as a result of xenophobic sentiments then prevalent, to 14 years in 1798. In 1802, the term was reduced to five years, which remains the usual term. The McCarran-Walter Act (1952; amended, 1965) revised and recodified the entire body of immigration and naturalization regulations. By the terms of this act, declarations of intention two years before naturalization were eliminated, and naturalization could be granted 30 days after petitioning, following rigorous examination. The act introduced seditious behavior, discovery of fraud, and prolonged absences abroad as grounds for cancellation of naturalization, although the implementation of these provisions was limited by subsequent Supreme Court decisions. The act is administered by the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services of the Dept. of Homeland Security.
The petitioner for naturalization must meet several requirements, including the ability to read and speak English. He or she must also swear to support the Constitution, and must be adjudged of good moral character. The actual conferring of citizenship is in most cases the action of a federal court. Children under 18 become citizens automatically upon the naturalization of one or both parents. Minor children adopted abroad by American citizens now automatically become citizens as a result of the Child Citizenship Act (2000); previously the children did not become citizens unless they were naturalized.
The process of naturalization in some circumstances is shortened for members of the U.S. armed forces and for the spouses of American citizens, and there are certain exceptions made by means of private immigration and naturalization bills passed by Congress. In addition to individual acts of naturalization, whole populations may be naturalized. An example is the conferring of citizenship at various times in U.S. history on the populace of Texas, Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.
See also immigrationimmigration,
entrance of a person (an alien) into a new country for the purpose of establishing permanent residence. Motives for immigration, like those for migration generally, are often economic, although religious or political factors may be very important.
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See F. G. Franklin, The Legislative History of Naturalization in the United States (1906, repr. 1969).
one of the results of introducing plants or animals into a new environment. The naturalization of an organism can involve metabolic changes. The range of these changes is defined by an organism’s potential phenotypic variance. For example, many weeds and animal pests have a wide potential phenotypic variance for their genotypes and, thus, are distributed in various regions of the earth. When naturalization occurs, the genetic structure of the population or species does not change. Sometimes, the transplantation of plants or animals to regions where conditions are identical with those of the original habitat is considered to be naturalization.
the admission to citizenship in a state of a person not a citizen of the state by birth. Naturalization occurs both in cases in which citizenship is acquired by a person of no prior citizenship and in which a person exchanges one citizenship for another. Each state establishes its own legal means of acquiring naturalization. In the USSR, Soviet citizenship is granted on the personal application of an alien or stateless person to the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR or to the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Union republic in which the applicant resides.