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Difference Between Citizenship and Naturalization

Citizenship vs Naturalization

I was born in the Philippines and so were my parents. When I was 8 years old, they left for the US to work in the medical field and left me and my two brothers with my grandmother. After a few years, they became US citizens and decided to take us to the US with them. They applied for our citizenship which was immediately granted to us because we were minors then.

I learned that applications for US citizenship of immigrants� children who are already older than 18 years will take a longer time to process. So some don�t apply for citizenship and instead apply for naturalization, in which case they must enter the US on a student or working visa. Here are some information on the nature of citizenship and naturalization:


Citizenship is a person�s state of being part of a particular national, political, and social entity or country. Being a citizen makes the person responsible for the active participation in the economic and political activities of the community where he belongs. It also gives him the right to receive protection, to vote and choose the leaders in his community.

It is given to applicants whose parents are already citizens of the country to which he is applying for citizenship. A person born in Japan to parents who are citizens of the United States of America is a citizen of the US by birth although he is issued a birth certificate in Japan.

His parents or the person himself then have to apply for his US citizenship. There is a form, N-600 that has to be filled up and submitted to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services, together with his birth certificate issued in Japan and the birth certificates of his parents.

This is also true for people who are left in their parents� country of birth when they immigrated to the US. The moment their parents become US citizens, all children 18 years old and below automatically become US citizens and must submit Form N-600 and other requirements so they can prove their citizenship and enter the US.


Naturalization is the process wherein a person who is born from another country acquires citizenship and nationality of another. It requires the applicant to be a legal full time resident of the country for a certain period of time with the promise to uphold and obey the country�s laws.

Some countries also require that the applicant renounce his citizenship of the country of his birth when applying for naturalization but whether his citizenship will be renounced depends on the two countries� laws.

Naturalization is given to people who are immigrants to the US or to citizens of other countries who entered the US on student or working visas. In applying, they have to fill up Form N-400 and must have permanent residency in the US for five years.

They must also pay the filing fee, pass the citizenship test, and must not have any legal impediments like conviction or court cases arising from committing a crime or felony.


1. Citizenship is granted to people who are born to parents who are already citizens of a particular country while naturalization is granted to people who are citizens of another country.
2. Citizenship is easier to apply for and has lesser requirements than naturalization.
3. Citizenship takes little time to be approved while in applying for naturalization, one must be a permanent resident of the country for at least five years before he can become a naturalized citizen

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