U.S. citizenship comes with many benefits. It also comes with certain civic responsibilities. Learn about important civic duties and how to be engaged in your community.
The Oath of Allegiance
When you become a citizen, you will take an oath of allegiance (loyalty) to the United States of America. The oath says you are promising certain things in order to become a citizen:
- to give up allegiance to foreign countries
- to defend the Constitution and laws of the United States
- to be loyal to the USA and follow its laws
- to serve in the military or do important work for the USA if required by law
Voting is a civic responsibility
While voting is a right and one of the benefits of US citizenship, many people believe voting is an important responsibility too. Learn how to vote in the USA.
During a court trial, a group of ordinary Americans called the jury makes important decisions about whether or not the person who committed the crime is guilty.
It is the duty of American citizens to pay taxes to cover the cost of government, protection, and services. All American citizens pay some sort of taxes. US citizens who live overseas have to file a tax return every year even if they are not paying taxes. Learn more about taxes in the USA.
Civic responsibility in your community
The USA is a democracy, and democracies need people to have a strong voice and to work together. Being a good citizen means being an active member of your community. This participation is especially important for refugees and immigrants because it allows them to form connections and find their place in the new country. You can join community groups or political parties. You can support a cause in your environment or neighborhood. You can run for public office.
Watch Americans talking about their rights and civic responsibility
The information on this page comes from USCIS and other trusted sources. We aim to offer easy to understand information that is updated regularly. This information is not legal advice.