Naturalization Act of 1795
The United States Naturalization Act of January 29, 1795 (1 Stat. 414) repealed and replaced the Naturalization Act of 1790. The 1795 Act differed from the 1790 Act by increasing the period of required residence from two to five years in the United States, by introducing the Declaration of Intention requirement, or "first papers", which created a two-step naturalization process, and by conferring the status of citizen and not natural born citizen. The Act specified that naturalized citizenship was reserved only for "free white person[s]." It also changed the requirement in the 1790 Act of "good character" to read "good moral character."
Before 1795, immigration law was governed primarily by the Naturalization Act of 1790.
Immigrants intending to naturalize had to go to their local court and declare their intention at least three years prior to their formal application. In the declaration, the immigrant would also indicate his understanding that upon naturalization, he would take an oath not only of allegiance to the United States but also of renunciation of his former sovereign.
In addition to the declaration of intention and oath of renunciation, the 1795 Act required all naturalized persons to be "attached to the principles of the Constitution of the United States" and be "well disposed to the good order and happiness of the same."
The Act of 1795 was superseded by the Naturalization Act of 1798, which itself was repealed in 1802.
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