A citizenship and naturalization lawyer can help you navigate the complexities of the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) process. They can also help you prepare for your interview and English and civics test. This will improve your chances of successfully becoming a citizen.
Becoming an American citizen is a significant life event that can open doors and opportunities. An experienced citizenship lawyer can assess your eligibility accurately and address any concerns, significantly enhancing your chances of success.
Requirements for naturalization
The United States government requires naturalization applicants to take an oath of loyalty and support the Constitution and form of government of the United States. Applicants must also have knowledge of United States history and civics, as well as demonstrate basic English literacy. This requirement is tested through an exam administered by USCIS. Those over 65 and those with a medical (cognitive) disability may be exempt from the test.
In addition to meeting the residency requirements, naturalization applicants must prove that they have good moral character (GMC). GMC is determined by an interview and background check conducted by USCIS. Generally, certain types of criminal activity disqualify an applicant from establishing GMC.
Upon approval of your citizenship application, you will be scheduled for a naturalization ceremony. At the ceremony, you will be sworn in as a US citizen. Your new citizenship will open doors and provide many opportunities for you and your family. You will have the opportunity to vote and serve on a jury, among other benefits.
Requirements for citizenship by birth
If you were born in the United States, or to parents who were citizens at the time of your birth, you are a naturalized citizen by birth. This is a term used to describe individuals who acquire citizenship at birth under the principle of jus soli, or “right of soil.” This principle is generally accepted in countries of the Western world, although laws vary.
Congress determines the conditions under which a person obtains citizenship at birth through the law in effect at the time of his or her birth. To acquire citizenship at birth, your legal parents must have been citizens in accordance with the statutory provisions and conditions that were in effect at the time of your birth.
The physical presence requirements are different for children born abroad to two U.S. citizen parents who were married at the time of the child’s birth, or to one U.S. citizen parent and the child was born out of wedlock. The physical presence requirements also vary for persons who become naturalized after three years instead of five, if they were lawful permanent residents at the time they applied to be naturalized.
Requirements for citizenship through marriage
If you have been married to a US citizen for three years and fulfill other requirements, you may be eligible to become a naturalized citizen through marriage. This process provides significant benefits to both the spouse and the family, including the ability to vote in federal elections, eligibility for certain federal jobs, and permanent protection from deportation. To qualify for citizenship through marriage, you must have spent at least three years of your lawful permanent residence in a marital union with your husband or wife and remain together through the final Oath of Allegiance ceremony.
You must also have a basic understanding of the United States and its history and government, and pass a civics test. You must also be of good moral character and have a supportive attitude towards the United States. In addition, if you are male and between the ages of 18 and 26, you must register with Selective Service. These and other requirements are outlined in detail in Section 319 of the Immigration and Nationality Act.
Requirements for citizenship through parents
If you are the child of a US citizen, you may be eligible for citizenship through your parents. However, there are specific requirements that must be met in order to be considered a citizen by parents. For example, the parent must have been a United States citizen at the time of your birth or have become a naturalized citizen after you were born. If the father was a US citizen, then he must complete an Affidavit of Parentage, Physical Presence and Support under oath stating that he recognized you as his biological child and provided financial support for your care before reaching the age of 18.
In addition, some children of naturalized citizens automatically become US citizens without having to go through the naturalization process. A NYC citizenship lawyer can help you determine if you qualify for this process. If you do, you must have been a green card holder for at least three or five years and meet other requirements.