The terms "foreign born" and "immigrant" are used interchangeably to describe persons who do not have U.S. citizenship at birth. Naturalized citizens, legitimate permanent residents, refugees and asylees, those on certain temporary visas, and undocumented immigrants are also part of this demographic. In order to be a citizen of the United States, which means having all rights and obligations of citizenship, one must be a natural-born citizen or declared by declaration of intention. There is no such thing as an honorary American or foreign citizen.
In addition to being granted citizenship, individuals can make declarations of intention in order to speed up the process of becoming a citizen. For example, someone who is non-citizen but meets other requirements can apply for citizenship by declaration of intention. These programs vary between states and countries; however, generally speaking, you must submit an application with some form of identification that shows your name and current address in order to be considered for citizenship. Some examples of documents that will help prove identity include a passport, driver's license, voter registration card, or birth certificate.
After submitting the application, it will be reviewed by officials who will decide if you have met the requirements necessary to become a citizen. If so, you will then be notified by mail or phone about your application being approved. Once approved, you will be given a Certificate of Citizenship.
1 The word "immigrants" (sometimes known as "foreign born") refers to persons who live in the United States but were not born in the country. The three main groups of immigrants to the United States are citizens, legal permanent residents (LPRs), and temporary workers.
The American Immigration Council estimates that the total number of immigrants living in the U.S. in 2017 was 44.5 million people. This number represents about 5% of the world's population. Of these, about 1.8 million are illegal aliens. The remaining 42.7 million are either legal immigrants or their descendants.
Illegal immigration has been a problem since the foundation of the United States. At the time of its founding in 1776, only about 3% of the population was foreign-born. By 1820, this number had more than doubled to 6%. In 1920, it was estimated that 20% of the U.S. population was foreign-born. By 2007, this number had increased significantly to 45%.
Even though there is no official record of how many illegal immigrants are in the United States, it is estimated that there are approximately 10 million undocumented immigrants living in the country. This number includes both documented and undocumented immigrants.
Anyone who is not a U.S. citizen at birth, including those who become U.S. citizens through naturalization, is included in the foreign-born population. Anyone who was born in the United States is considered a native-born citizen. Continue Reading...
Legal immigrants are foreign-born persons who have been lawfully admitted to the United States. Undocumented immigrants, also known as illegal aliens, are foreign-born people who do not have a valid visa or other immigration documentation because they entered the United States without inspection, stayed longer than their temporary visa allowed, or stayed in the United States for an extended period of time. According to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), an estimated 11 million people living in the United States are undocumented.
The federal government defines three types of legal immigrants: priority dates, family members, and workers. Priority date immigrants are those who arrive in the United States before January 1, 1972 and are deemed by the DHS to be meritorious candidates for any available visa category. Family-based immigrants include spouses, children, and siblings of U.S. citizens and permanent residents. Worker-based immigrants include those who will contribute to the economic growth of the United States and who will be granted a work permit. Applicants must meet various requirements to be considered for these categories. For example, those seeking a family-based visa must show that there is a relationship between the applicant and the eligible family member. The same is true for those seeking a worker-based visa.
Illegal immigrants fall under two categories: removable aliens and non-removable aliens. Removable aliens are defined as individuals who were denied entry into the United States at some point in their lives and ordered removed by a U.S. Immigration Judge or the DHS.