Naturalization vs Citizenship: Difference and Comparison

There are a lot of people living and earning their livelihood in the United States. Some make it happen, and some drift away in the process. Some people are born and brought up in foreign countries, and some travel for personal reasons.

It is known that the United States and other foreign countries provide certain rights to its people of all kinds, out of which it also provides certain unalienable rights to its citizenship. If further divided, such diplomatic rights give birth to the terms Naturalization and Citizenship. They come with detailed differences and are followed by many people in the world.

Key Takeaways

  1. Naturalization is the process by which a foreign national becomes a citizen of a country by fulfilling certain requirements, such as residency and language proficiency.
  2. Citizenship is the status of being a member of a particular country and enjoying the rights and privileges associated with that status.
  3. Naturalization is a specific process for becoming a citizen, while citizenship is the status of being a country member.

Naturalization vs Citizenship

Naturalization is a procedure in which people gain citizenship of US. Many factors are considered during a naturalization process. These includes age, language, residency and many others. Citizenship is for those who are born in the US or have US parents. People born in the US have all the rights and freedom.

Naturalization vs Citizenship

Naturalization is applicable to becoming citizens of the United States. It is a process of citizenship for the US for a person who was born outside of the states. It comes with certain requirements which need to be fulfilled to avail the process, and after meeting them, one becomes a citizen by birth or after birth. Many qualifications are required, such as age, residency, good moral character, language, and so on.

Citizenship defines the legal relationship between a foreign country and the person who is willing to live there. A person’s citizenship is determined when he/she is born in a country, whereas on the other side, a person can become a citizen of another country, which draws the topic of naturalization.

Comparison Table

Parameters of Comparison Naturalization Citizenship 
Definition Naturalization is the process through which people avail themselves of the citizenship of the US when they are born in some foreign country.  Citizenship is the process through which people of the US become citizens of the country. It happens when one is born in the US or has US parents. 
StatusIt portrays the status that you are taking in the new country.It portrays your livelihood status in the country you are living in. 
Origin It is derived from the French naturalization is derived from 1570.Citizenship has been derived from ancient Greece and its perspectives of city-states.
Diversity There is no diversity of naturalization. Diversity of citizenship is on those where cases of opposing parties are involved in a lawsuit. For citizens of different states or countries.  
Example A person living for an extended period of time in a country where one wishes to be a citizen. Someone born in the USA with access to all rights and freedom. 

What is Naturalization?

United States Citizenship engages the entire process of naturalization. The Immigration Service also manages it in the USCIS department. The United States Citizenship is also a part of the Department of Homeland Security. It takes active participation in the process of naturalization, allowing other foreign nationals above the age of 18 and above to become citizens of the United States. This fact only happens to people who are born in a foreign country other than the US and want to avail citizenship of the US.

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Naturalization is a process, and like any documentation, it also starts with paperwork. Such admittance of a person in a new country portrays the definition, especially in the United States of America. This fact is a legal act that undergoes a process to avail the nationality in that country without any effort from the person and begins with the process through an application. It requires affirmation from the legal authorities to which the application is submitted. It can also be done automatically through a statute, which is an option people consider. There are various basic ways to be a citizen of the USA, and naturalization is one of the most common forms and is accepted by the majority of people.

Naturalization contributes to and impacts in increasing the financial security of the country. Those who are legal immigrants naturalised have an increased amount of 8 to 11 percent which has a higher income than their most counterparts who are not naturalized and a 15 percent increase in spending power of the situation of legalization in the country. The process of naturalization was derived from French naturalization in 1570.

What is Citizenship? 

Citizenship is a relationship. It is a relationship between a person or an individual and a state to which he or she owes allegiance and is also entitled to its protection in that country. It is given that each state or country determines the conditions of their country under which the people will be recognized as the people as its citizens, along with the conditions under which the status of the people will be withdrawn. In the U.S., the Certificate of Citizenship refers to the identity document that provides U.S. citizenship to the people applying for it or born with the privilege through their parents and family.

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It is issued to the derivative citizens and to the people who have acquired U.S. citizenship. Wondering what a derivation of citizenship is? The derivation of citizenship is common and is pursued the permanent resident children whose parents or parents are already naturalized or were born by right. This allows the citizens to enjoy all the privileges, rights, freedom, and constitution the country has to offer to its people. Suppose one of the parties during the diversity of citizenship is in a corporation. In that case, it is mostly defined and derived as a citizen of the state where their business operates or is incorporated from the beginning.

Citizenship can also be termed as a synonym for the term nationality in a country. Suppose the term citizenship is used as a different word than nationality. In that case, it means it includes all the legal rights and duties that are related to the person that comes with the tag of nationality under the country’s domestic law. In many national laws, and many countries, citizenship has a more specific meaning. It also refers to rights and duties that can only be exercised after a certain age or age of majority, especially as voting rights or the rights and duties of national territory that are also exercised.

Main Differences Between Naturalization and Citizenship

  1. Naturalization is the first step before citizenship that is needed to be acquired. Citizenship is mainly accompanied by the right to birth, which is the next step.
  2. Naturalization was derived from French citizenship, whereas the concept of citizenship was derived from Greece’s city-state concept.
  3. There is no diversification in naturalization, whereas there is diversification of citizenship in many cases, especially in the USA.
  4. Naturalization depicts the status of an individual in the country, whereas citizenship portrays the rights and duties of an individual by birth.
  5. Naturalization is mostly practised in developed countries like the U.S., whereas every country in the world has its own legal laws of citizenship.

Last Updated : 13 July, 2023

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11 thoughts on “Naturalization vs Citizenship: Difference and Comparison”

  1. The naturalization process involves factors such as age, language, and residency, and is applicable to becoming U.S. citizens.

  2. Citizenship is the status of being a member of a particular country and enjoying the rights and privileges associated with that status.

  3. Naturalization is a process for becoming a citizen of the United States by fulfilling specific requirements, including age, residency, and language proficiency.

  4. Naturalization is applicable to the process of becoming citizens of the United States for those born outside of the country.

  5. Citizenship signifies the legal relationship between a country and the individuals willing to reside there, and it can also be acquired through naturalization.

  6. Naturalization refers to a foreign national becoming a citizen of a country after fulfilling specific needs such as residency and language proficiency.

    • Exactly, Dan! It’s a specific process for becoming a citizen, while citizenship is just the status of being a country member.

  7. Naturalization involves fulfilling various qualifications, such as age, residency, good moral character, and language, to become a citizen of the United States.

  8. Naturalization is a process that comes with certain requirements which need to be fulfilled, such as age, residency, good moral character, and language.

    • Agreed, Barry56! Citizenship defines the legal relationship between a country and a person, which can be determined by birth or naturalization.


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