September 17 is Citizenship Day and Constitution Day, when Americans celebrate their founding document and those who have become U.S. citizens. Signed on this day in 1787, the Constitution lays out the founding principles of the nation and the parameters for citizenship.
So how does one become an American? Some ways are automatic, while others are not so simple. Here are the four paths citizenship:
Military: Perhaps the least-known or travelled path to citizenship is through military service. Foreign-born individuals who have served at least one year in the U.S. Armed Forces or have completed their active duty can apply for citizenship. While the applicant must go through the some of the same naturalization procedures in order to gain citizenship, some citizenship status benefits are available to families of U.S. servicemembers.
Today is a great day to pause and reflect on the founding document and principles of our nation, and welcome those who want to make it their own.