Citizenship is the common thread that connects all Americans. We are a nation bound not by race or religion, but by the shared values of freedom, liberty, and equality. Throughout our history, the United States has welcomed newcomers from all over the world. The contributions of immigrants have helped shape and define the country we know today. More than 200 years after our founding, naturalized citizens are still an important part of our democracy. By becoming a U.S. citizen, you too will have a voice in how our nation is governed. The decision to apply is a significant one. Citizenship offers many benefits and equally important responsibilities. By applying, you are demonstrating your commitment to this country and our form of government. Below you will find several rights and responsibilities that all citizens should exercise and respect. Some of these responsibilities are legally required of every citizen, but all are important to ensuring that America remains a free and prosperous nation.