June 28, 2008

Finding Naturalization Records in USA - Part 1

Naturalization in the United States was a two-step process that generally took a minimum of 5 years. These two steps did not have to take place in the same court.

In general, after living in the United States for 2 years, an alien could file a Declaration of Intent (also called First Papers) to become a citizen.

After 2 additional years, the alien could Petition for Naturalization. After the petition was granted, a Certificate of Citizenship was issued to the alien.

See Changes in Naturalization Requirements for information on specific time periods from 1790 to present.

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