When it comes to the world of billionaires, he tends to be in a class of his own.
Some might call him eccentric and others might call him brilliant or a genius.
Considering his popularity, you may wonder if Elon Musk could ever run for president.
Here’s what you need to know about Elon Musk and what it takes to become president.
Can Elon Musk Run For President?
No, Elon Musk cannot run for president.
That’s because Elon Musk isn’t a natural-born American citizen.
Elon Musk was born in South Africa.
His mother was born in Canada, so he decided to go to Canada en route to the United States.
He believed it would be easier to get into the United States from Canada than it would be from South Africa.
He then moved to the United States and started working in the tech industry.
In 2002, he became a naturalized American citizen.
However, despite being an American citizen, Musk can’t run for the presidency because those not born in the United States are not eligible.
While amendments to that clause might one day change this, it hasn’t occurred yet.
As such, Elon Musk is ineligible to run for president.
What Is A Naturalized Citizen?
If you weren’t born in the United States, then you may wonder how you can become a citizen.
If you plan on living in the United States for the rest of your life, then it’s worth becoming a citizen.
You can then vote and be represented in government.
There are also several other benefits of becoming an official citizen.
However, there are several steps that you need to complete to become a naturalized citizen.
Here are some of the requirements that you’ll need to meet.
1. 18 Years Of Age
One of the first requirements you need to meet is to be at least 18 years old.
The United States recognizes the age of 18 as the age at which teenagers become legal adults.
They’re able to partake in many things that were previously barred to them—except buying alcohol.
If you intend to become a naturalized citizen, then you need to be at least a legal adult.
If you’re not 18 years old yet, then your parents need to file for citizenship for you.
Since you are not yet recognized as a legal adult, you are unable to make certain decisions for yourself.
Once you become 18, however, you’re able to file to become a naturalized citizen.
2. Be A Legal And Permanent Resident
One of the aspects that take the longest when becoming a naturalized citizen is proving that you’re a legal and permanent resident.
There are a few different naturalization categories that you can apply for.
Depending on which one you choose, you need to prove that you have been a legal and permanent resident of the United States for either three or five years.
This means that you have kept up with your visas and had a place to stay for either three or five years.
It also means that you did not travel outside of the country for long periods.
You were in the United States and either working or staying with someone during that time.
The reason this stipulation is in place is to ensure that you have clear intentions of becoming a citizen of the United States.
The government prefers residents who intend to stay and work in the country.
The more workers that they have, the more taxes they receive.
They also have this requirement for security purposes.
It can keep sleeper agents or terrorists out of the country.
Since you’re required to be a resident for at least three or five years, that means it’s a bit harder to spy or commit an act of terrorism since you won’t be in direct contact with whoever hired you.
There are always exceptions, but this requirement is a way to help ensure America’s current citizens remain safe.
3. Continuous Residence And Physical Presence In The United States
Another requirement to become a naturalized citizen of the United States is to be a continuous resident and have a physical presence in the country.
This essentially means that you shouldn’t be leaving the country frequently.
If you intend to become a citizen, then one of the best ways to do that is to stay in America until after you become a citizen.
Then you can leave the country to visit family and friends.
If you leave the country before you become a citizen, then you might not meet this specific requirement and have to start over.
That could add another three or five years to the process.
This particular requirement is there because it can take longer than three or five years to become a naturalized citizen.
There are a few tests that you need to take to prove that you’re ready and willing to become a citizen.
If you fail one of those tests, then you have to retake it.
It can also take a long time to get an interview or the tests scheduled.
If you leave the country or lose your residency while you’re waiting, then you’re no longer eligible to become a naturalized citizen.
To ensure you’re able to become a citizen, you need to remain in the United States and claim residency.
4. Be Able To Read, Write, And Speak English
English is the national language of the United States.
If you’re unable to read, write, or speak basic English, then you’re going to struggle in the country.
People expect you to be able to read, write, and speak English.
It can be difficult, although not impossible, to find employers who will hire non-English speakers.
Furthermore, being able to read English text is essential for safety.
If you plan on driving in the country, for example, then you need to be able to read what the signs say.
Otherwise, you’ll be putting yourself and others at risk.
The United States government wants to ensure that its citizens have the basic skills to start their lives in the country.
If a citizen can’t speak or read English, then they’re probably going to struggle.
They could end up becoming homeless and relying on government programs to stay fed and clothed.
The government doesn’t want you to rely on them.
They want you to succeed and be a productive member of society.
To ensure you meet the basic requirements necessary to succeed in the country, potential citizens will be tested on their basic English reading, writing, and speaking skills.
They’re not looking for citizens to have mastered more advanced concepts of the language.
Instead, they want to see if you have a basic understanding that will help you survive in society.
If they find that you don’t, then you might receive information about resources where you can further your education.
You won’t be able to become a citizen until you hone your language skills.
If you do pass the test, then you’re able to move on to the next test.
5. Good Moral Character
This is one of the easiest requirements to pass to become a naturalized citizen of the United States.
To demonstrate that you have good moral character, you basically need to refrain from committing any crimes.
Don’t murder anyone.
Don’t steal from anyone.
It doesn’t hurt to do a bit of community service here and there, too, to show the government that you care for your local community.
As long as you haven’t committed any crimes, they’re likely to say that you demonstrated good moral character.
If you end up committing a crime, then you’ll want to do what you can to atone for it.
That might mean a doing lot of community service or getting involved in the community in some other way that shows you’re more than the crime you committed.
A problem with going to a new country is that you might not be aware of all the country’s laws.
For example, you may not know that it’s illegal to open someone else’s mail.
If you’re caught, then the police could charge you with a crime.
That could then impact whether or not you become a naturalized citizen.
To ensure you don’t accidentally commit a crime, it’s worth reading up on the laws of the country and state where you’re residing.
6. Understanding And Knowledge Of U.S. History And Government
Another test you’ll need to complete is a basic examination of U.S. history and government.
You’ll need to answer some questions about some of the hallmarks of U.S. history.
Topics might include the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, and even the Industrial Revolution.
They don’t expect you to take a college class on U.S. history, but they do expect you to know some of the biggest events from the country’s past.
They also want to see if you know how the government’s basic structure works.
One of the perks of becoming a citizen is that you’re able to vote and be represented in the government.
They want to ensure that you understand how voting works, what it means, and what representation looks like.
If you come from a country where democracy isn’t practiced, for example, then these are concepts that you need to learn to make the most of your citizenship.
There are several ways to study the information that you need for the test.
Sometimes you’ll receive a helpful textbook that contains the information that you need.
Other times, you can attend a class that will teach you what you need to know.
You may also need to study on your own.
In this case, it’s worth going over basic topics that high schoolers learn.
As long as you can prove on the test that you have a basic understanding of U.S. history and government, then you should pass.
7. Loyalty To The U.S. Constitution
To become a naturalized citizen of the United States, you need to be able to demonstrate loyalty to the US Constitution.
The Constitution is the backbone of the country.
It dictates how laws get made, how the government functions, and explains the rights given to the citizens of the country.
You can think of loyalty to the Constitution as loyalty to the country, itself.
The United States government wants to ensure that if you become a citizen of the country, you’re willing to protect and honor it.
That might even mean supporting the United States if it enters a war with your home country.
The government can use this requirement to try and distinguish between people who are genuinely trying to become citizens and people who are spies or terrorists.
One of the ways that you can prove loyalty to the Constitution is by not committing any crimes.
This demonstrates that you understand the laws it presents.
You can also demonstrate loyalty by taking part in events that celebrate the Constitution.
If you can prove that you’re loyal to the U.S. Constitution, then you can become a naturalized citizen.
8. Take The Oath Of Allegiance
The final step of becoming a naturalized citizen is to take the Oath of Allegiance.
The Oath of Allegiance is basically a swearing-in for the prospective citizen.
It’s sort of like an informal contract or agreement between the prospective citizen and the government.
All citizens are part of the same oath, more or less, whether they’re naturally born citizens or naturalized citizens.
The oath has a few main parts.
The first is to renounce any loyalty to one’s former country.
You essentially state that you are no longer loyal to that country.
You are now loyal to the United States.
Even if you share citizenship with your home country, your ultimate loyalty now lies with the United States.
The second part of the oath is to swear to be ready to bear arms in the defense of the United States.
This essentially means that if the government decides everyone needs to go to war, then you’re willing to take part.
If you’re not able to become a soldier, then you agree to perform nonservice work that supports the country instead.
Finally, the oath also covers allegiance to the Constitution.
It expects you to obey the Constitution and protect it.
Once you take the Oath of Allegiance, you’re a naturalized citizen of the United States.
This is the easiest step to becoming a naturalized citizen.
What Are The Requirements To Become The President?
Not just anyone can become the President of the United States.
Although it may seem like just anyone can suddenly have control over one of the most powerful countries in the world, that isn’t exactly the case.
The Constitution lays out three requirements that the prospective candidate must meet to run for president.
The first is that the president must be at least 35 years old.
This indicates that the individual has had enough life experience to make tough decisions.
The second requirement is that the president must be a natural-born citizen.
There may some concerns about a president from a foreign country who tries to make changes that favor their home country over the United States.
Finally, the president must have lived in the United States for at least 14 years.
This also helps decrease the chances of electing a president with strong ties to a foreign country.
If an individual meets these three requirements, then they’re able to run for president.
Elon Musk is not eligible to run for president because he was not born in the United States.
He had to go through the naturalization process to become a citizen of the United States.
Anyone who wants to become a president has to meet three requirements listed in the Constitution.