The Pathway To U.S. Citizenship
For most foreign-born adults, the only path to U.S. citizenship is by first acquiring a green card and then going through the naturalization process. Certain individuals, however, may be able to claim U.S. citizenship if one of their parents or grandparents was a U.S. citizen.
Whether pursuing citizenship or naturalization, the process can be long and difficult, but with the guidance of an experienced attorney from the law offices of John W. Lawit, you can reach the goal of citizenship with a minimum of stress and worry. With locations in Irving, Texas, and Albuquerque, New Mexico, we serve people from all around the globe.
The Benefits Of Attaining U.S. Citizenship
American citizenship grants a number of rights not afforded to green card holders. These include the right to vote and the consent to acquire a U.S. passport. Unlike a green card, a U.S. passport allows you to travel outside the U.S. for an unlimited number of days with no re-entry permit. Citizenship also allows you to petition for your spouse, parents and unmarried children under the age of 21 to immigrate through a faster petition process. And unless you committed fraud during the naturalization process or in acquiring your green card, you cannot be deported as a U.S. citizen.
Qualifying For Naturalization
Listed below are the main eligibility requirements to apply for naturalization. While there are a few limited exemptions based on employment, health and age, most people will need to meet these requirements before filing Form N-400 to apply for citizenship:
- Applicant must be at least 18 years old
- On the day the application is submitted, applicant must have owned a green card and had continuous residence in the U.S. for at least five years (or 3 years for some spouses of U.S. citizens)
- On the day the application is submitted, applicant must have been physically present in the U.S. for at least 30 months of the last five years (or 3 years for some spouses of U.S. citizens)
- Applicant must have lived at their current state of residency for at least three months prior to the date of the application submission
- Applicant must maintain a continuous residence within the U.S. from the date the application is submitted until the naturalization process is completed
- Applicant must be able to read, write and speak English (or qualify for an exemption of the language requirement)
- Applicant must show knowledge and an understanding of U.S. history and how the U.S. government functions (or qualify for an exemption of this test)
- Applicant must be of good moral character
Applying for citizenship can be a difficult and time-consuming task. We can help you identify and ensure required documents are completed accurately and submitted to the proper authorities.
Qualifying For Citizenship
Some individuals who are the children or grandchildren of a U.S. citizen may be able to derive citizenship from that relative. While many children of naturalized U.S. citizens could derive citizenship when a parent naturalizes. The rules for these processes are quite complex and have changed several times throughout the years. Be mindful that what oftentimes seems like a straightforward process is frequently covered by intricacies that must be examined very carefully.
Contact An Experienced Immigration Lawyer
For help in any matter pertaining to citizenship and naturalization, contact us by calling 469-294-3179 or submitting our online form. Members of our team are fluent in Spanish, Korean and a variety of other languages.