Naturalization Act Law and Legal Definition
The Naturalization Act of 1790 is a federal law that provided the rules to be followed by the U.S. in the granting of national citizenship.
In order to obtain citizenship under the act, the applicant shall reside in the U.S. for two years and one year in the state of residence. A petition for naturalization can be filed in any common law court of record having jurisdiction over his/her residence asking to be naturalized. The act limited the naturalization to immigrants who were free white persons of good moral character. The indentured servants, slaves, free blacks, and later Asians do no come under the act. Although the act included women under its provisions, it does not apply to the right of citizenship to persons whose fathers have never been resident in the U.S. According to the act, citizenship was inherited exclusively through the father.