The New Student's Reference Work/Naturalization
Nat′uraliza′tion, the process by which a person born in another country becomes possessed of the privileges and is placed under the obligations of a citizen of the country in which he resides. It involves the renunciation of allegiance to one country and the adoption of the other. It was not until 1870 that Great Britain recognized such a renunciation by any of its subjects, and before that time would charge with treason any person having so done, if he bore arms against Britain; but in that year a treaty was made by which Englishmen who had been naturalized in this country, were treated as citizens of the United States and vice versa. The conditions upon which one can become naturalized differ materially in various countries. In the United States a foreigner must make oath of his intention to become a citizen. If at this time he has resided three years in the United States, he receives what are known as his “first papers.” Then, after the lapse of two years, upon a sworn substantiation of his good morals, a five years' residence and a renunciation of all allegiance to any and all foreign monarchs or potentates and all titles of nobility, before any one of the superior, district or circuit courts, he becomes a citizen of the United States. In Great Britain five years' residence or service under the crown entitles a foreigner to a certificate of naturalization, procurable from one of the principal secretaries of state. The British colonies make their own rules for becoming a citizen, applicable, however, only to the colony in which they are made. In France a foreigner, after having obtained permission to reside, may receive a certificate of declaration of intention after three years' residence, and by the French naturalization act of 1889 may become naturalized after ten years residence without any preliminaries. In Germany an applicant must show that the laws of his country allow him to renounce it, that he is residing in Germany, leading a respectable life, and has a means of livelihood; then the higher administrative power issues his papers. In all countries a married woman is considered as subject to the country in which her husband is naturalized, and a father's naturalization carries with it that of his minor children. See Nationality by Chief-Justice Cockburn.