Being a citizen of a country gives you certain legal rights and privileges that you do not have as a visitor in the country or as a lawful permanent resident. Citizenship demonstrates your membership in a nation. If you are a lawful permanent resident or Green Card holder, you can apply for citizenship and obtain the benefits of being a citizen of the United States even though you were not born in the U.S.
Why a US Citizenship Lawyer
- Preparation and submission of application packet in accordance with the citizenship requirements, including forms and evidence of eligibility.
- Attorney cover letter outlining how the applicant meets all the requirements, including exceptions to the English or Civics test where applicable, eligibility for a medical waiver, or addressing a criminal history.
- Preparation for the citizenship interview and representation at the citizenship interview.
Requirements to Apply for U.S. Citizenship
- You are at least 18 years old at the time of filing Form N-400, Application for Naturalization.
- You are a permanent resident (have a “Green Card”) for at least 5 years.
- You have lived for at least 3 months in the state or USCIS district where you are applying.
- You may demonstrate continuous residence in the United States for at least 5 years and show that you have been physically present in the United States for at least 30 months out of the 5 years.
- You must be able to read, write, and speak basic English.
- You must know the basics of U.S. history and government.
- You must be a person of good moral character.
Benefits of Becoming a U.S. Citizen
- You can vote in all elections.
- You can petition for your parents, married children, and siblings.
- Your spouse, unmarried children under age 21, and parents will be considered immediate relatives, and eligible to immigrate just as soon as you can get through all the paperwork and interviews.
- You can travel to many countries on the visa-waiver program without needing a visa.
- You can leave and reenter the U.S. at any time without being subject to grounds of inadmissibility or requiring a reentry permit.
- You have no restrictions on the number of days you spend outside the U.S..
- US citizens cannot be deported from the U.S. unless they committed fraud in order to obtain their Green Card or citizenship.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Anyone who meets the requirements above or:
- Have been granted with asylum by USCIS and have been a permanent resident for 4 years.
- Is currently married to a U.S. citizen who has been a U.S. citizen for the past 3 years AND have been living with him or her for the past 3 years.
- Were in the U.S. Armed Forces for less than 1 year OR if you were in the U.S. Armed Forces for 1 year or more, but you were discharged more than 6 months ago AND have been a Permanent Resident for the past 5 years.
- Were married to a U.S. citizen who died during a period of honorable active duty service in the U.S. Armed Forces.
- Is a U.S. citizen national (a non-citizen who owes permanent allegiance to the United States) AND have become a resident of any State AND are otherwise qualified for naturalization.
- Are in the U.S. Armed Forces (or will be filing your application within 6 months of an honorable discharge) AND have served for at least 1 year
- Performed active duty military service during World War I or II, Korea, Vietnam, Persian Gulf, on or after September 11, 2001
You do not have to take the English Language Test during your citizenship interview if you meet the following requirements:
- Be 50 or older at the time of filing for citizenship and have lived as a permanent resident “green card holder” in the United States for 20 years.
- Be 55 or older at the time of filing for citizenship and have lived as a permanent resident in the United States for 15 years.
Even if you qualify for the English language exceptions listed above, you must still take the civics test, but you can take it in your native language. You must bring an interpreter with you to your interview, who is both fluent in English and your native language.
If you are age 65 or older and have been a permanent resident for at least 20 years at the time of filing for citizenship, you will be given special consideration regarding the civics requirement.
You may be eligible for an exception to the English and civics naturalization requirements if you have a physical or developmental disability or a mental impairment that prevents from complying with these requirements.
You will need to submit additional documentation completed by a licensed physician or licensed psychologist to demonstrate your medical disability.