Understanding The Term United States Citizenship
United States citizenship is a term that means you are a legal resident of the US. It does not imply that you have any state obligations, such as getting involved in politics, but merely that you have certain rights, responsibilities and benefits as a legal US citizen.
There are generally two ways that you can become recognized as a legal citizen of the States. The law states that if you are born in the country, you are automatically granted legal citizenship. If you were not born in the US and want to become legally recognized, you can also undergo the "naturalization" process.
Having citizenship in the United States grants you various privileges and benefits. These include being allowed to vote in the national elections and having a certain degree of protection in court. The most prominent benefits that legal citizens enjoy are being allowed to live and work in the US, and being granted access to various federal services.
Some federal services that legal residents have access to are financial aid services sponsored or run by the federal government, various health care or health-related services such as the Medicare program and its sister programs, as well as the potential for government intervention or aid if a citizen should run into problems while traveling in another country.
One avenue for citizenship that may be regarded as similar to birthright citizenship is the so-called "grandparent rule." This is an oversight in the state's legislation in which you may claim the right to become a legal resident if you can prove that one of your grandparents had legal status in the country. It doesn't matter what nationality you are when it comes to this ruling - if you can prove it then you may apply for citizenship under this rule.
There is also a naturalization process known as "amnesty." It simply means that if you can prove that you have been living in the country for a given amount of years, then you have the right to apply for legal citizenship. You can also take a test that has undergone considerable changes in recent years. The test used to ask various simple questions about the state's history, such as who the current president is and how many stars you'll find on the country's flag. In 2006 the test was changed to be a bit more involved, now asking questions that warrant a bit more insight into the country's principles and values.
Besides the various methods you can use to apply for citizenship, you also need to meet certain requirements. This includes the fact that you must not have been convicted of any crimes and must have basic knowledge about the Constitution.