After someone has lived in U.S. for a certain amount of time, are they automatically a citizen?

What's the amount of years? Or do they still have to apply for citizenship?

28 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    No, they have to apply and pass the citizenship test.

    "The process of becoming a United States citizen is known as naturalization, and is controlled by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). To become a naturalized citizen, you must first spend a set amount of time as a legal permanent resident of the United States, usually five years. The right to vote, access to programs such as Social Security, a United States passport, and the ability to qualify for security clearances are just a few of the advantages enjoyed only by citizens of the United States."

    Article taken from:

  • TCSO
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    No. A person can be illegal for 50 years and still be illegal.

    Under the current system, to become legal, one has to get a visa. There are many types of visas, including family-based visas, employment-based visas, nonimmigration visas such as tourist or student visas, etc. Some have an expiration while others allow the person to be here permanently (green card). If you never qualify or never file for a visa, you remain illegal.

    There has been legislation submitted in Congress that would start a process giving legal status to most illegals. Recent legislation of this type has failed to pass. But in 1986, under President Reagan, legislation was passed that gave legal status to illegals in the country at that time.

    If a person has a green card, they are not a citizen. To become a citizen, a person must wait at least seven years before filing. If they served in the military, that waiting period is decreased.

    Generally the only benefits to citizenship beyond what the green card offers is the right to vote and there are additional protections that US citizens have when they travel abroad. For example, if you travel to Iran and get kidnapped by terrorists, the State Department is going to worry more about a US citizen than they will a green card holder. I am unaware of any other significant benefits.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    People who weren't born in USA must apply for citizenship in order to become US citizens. In some cases, you need to live 5 years in USA before you can apply for citizenship. In other cases 3 years is enough. And some foreigners who have served in the US armed forces can apply without ever being permanent residents of USA.

    Here are the rules for getting US citizenship:

  • 1 decade ago

    Nah! There is nothing like automatic citizenship; there are some procedures you need to go through before you become a citizen, even if you have lived in the sates for 10 years or more.

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  • geegee
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    No, you do not automatically become a citizen by having resided here for years. You still need to apply for citizenship.

  • 1 decade ago

    NO, you can't become usa citizen because you lived her for X amount of yrs .

    You need to apply for green card first, and after 5 yrs of receiving green card you could apply to become usa citizen.

  • 4 years ago

    You do not qualify for derived citizenship. That's why you have a green card. They would not have given you a green card if you were already a citizen. You can become a citizen in three more years because of your green card. Just wait.

  • 1 decade ago

    Unfortunatly not.

    They have to apply for citizenship, and unfortunatly that could take years.

    The only thing that could speed up the process is if the person marries a U.S. citizen. Then the process only will take a matter of months.

  • 1 decade ago

    You still have to apply for citizenship.

  • 1 decade ago

    dont worry about that yet. if i were u i would worry about passing the test!! AND THE FEES!!

    some question they normally asked:

    what is 4th of july?-independence day!

    who is the current president? -george w. bush!

    what does the stripes on the flag represent?- the original 13 states!

    if there is a war will u bare arms to help usa? answer yes! if you answer no...u still pass but you'll be known as a terrorist as well. lol

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