As Washington debates how to fix our "broken" immigration system, let's look at 5 paths to U.S. citizenship under current immigration law.
1. By Birth:
Those born in the United States, its territories or within its jurisdiction — or with a parent who is a U.S. citizen at the time of birth.
Members of the U.S. armed forces, and their spouses and children, may be eligible for "special naturalization provisions."
Those who have been permanent residents of the United States (green card holders) for at least 5 years can apply for naturalization.
Those green card holders who have been living in "marital union" with the same U.S. citizen spouse during a period of at least 3 years.
5. Through a "Diversity Visa":
The State Department issues 50,000 "diversity visas" annually for countries with low rates of immigration to the U.S. The winners then have the change to apply for a green card and refer to No. 3.
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