Most children are considered to be legal citizens of a country if they are born in the country or born to parents who are citizens of that country. Foreigners must usually go through a naturalization process before they become legal citizens, which will often require a background and employment check. Many countries may also require that those seeking citizenship have a sponsor, who is usually a relative, when trying to obtain citizenship. Paperwork and filing fees are also usually necessary.
Birth is sometimes considered to be one of the most important citizenship qualifications. Generally, individuals who are born in a certain country are considered to be citizens of that country. Infants born to citizens who are abroad are also usually considered to be citizens of their parents' countries. Children who are born to one parent who is a citizen of a country and another parent who is not, however, may not be considered a citizen of that country.
Citizenship requirements vary greatly from country to country. Immigrants must usually meet a number of different citizenship qualifications before becoming naturalized citizens. This is usually a long and complicated process.
Background checks are also usually important citizenship requirements. Individuals who are being investigated for any crime in their home countries are usually denied access to other countries. Anyone who is interested in becoming a naturalized citizen in most countries should also have no prior criminal convictions.
Employment checks may also be other citizenship qualifications. Those who with to obtain citizenship in most countries should be able to prove that they have the ability to be contributing members of society. For example, they must be able and willing to work. Individuals who already have existing job offers from within the country are also more likely to gain citizenship.
Some countries also require those seeking citizenship to have sponsors. Most countries require these sponsors to be related to an immigrant by blood. Many countries also require that these sponsors must be immediate family members, such as parents or children. Some countries may allow an employer to sponsor an employee.
Marriage can also be used to obtain citizenship in some countries. As long as most other citizenship qualifications are met, a person who marries a citizen of a certain country will usually end up becoming a citizen of that country. Individuals can also usually sponsor their fiances for citizenship.
Along with meeting all citizenship qualifications, individuals seeking citizenship should also be sure to fill out any necessary paperwork. These citizenship forms are usually available on the Internet or at the appropriate country's embassy. Filing fees may also be necessary.