US Citizenship and Naturalization
Citizens of the United States are entitled to live and work permanently in the U.S., vote in U.S. elections, serve on court juries, and hold a U.S. passport. U.S. citizens can sponsor their spouse, unmarried children under age 21, and parents as immediate relatives for U.S. permanent residence. The relatives can file for permanent residence…..
Citizens of the United States are entitled to live and work permanently in the U.S., vote in U.S. elections, serve on court juries, and hold a U.S. passport. U.S. citizens can sponsor their spouse, unmarried children under age 21, and parents as immediate relatives for U.S. permanent residence. The relatives can file for permanent residence immediately. An individual may acquire U.S. citizenship in a variety of ways.
1. Birth in the United States
Children born in the U.S. are automatically U.S. citizens, regardless of the immigration status of their parents.
2. Birth outside the U.S. to U.S. citizen parents
Certain children born abroad to U.S. citizen parents are automatically citizens of the U.S.
3. Naturalization of Parents
A child born outside the U.S. may automatically become a U.S. citizen if both parents become U.S. citizens prior to the child’s 18th birthday. It does not matter if both parents naturalize, or if one parent is a U.S. citizen by birth and the other a U.S. citizen by naturalization.
4. Adoption by U.S. Citizen Parents
Certain children adopted and in the physical custody of their U.S. citizen parents for at least two years may acquire U.S. citizenship. The child must be under the age of 16 at the time of the legal adoption.
The general rule is that anyone over the age of 18 who has been a legal permanent resident alien for at least five (5) years may apply for naturalization. The applicant must have been physically present in the U.S. for at least 30 months out of the five years prior to the date of filing the application and must have resided for at least three months within the state in which the application is filed.
Naturalization may also come in the following manner:
The person seeking Naturalization must be a Lawful Permanent Resident of the US for at Least 3 Years, AND have been married to and living with the same US citizen for the last 3 Years, AND his Spouse must have been a US citizen for at least 3 years.
The applicant must demonstrate good moral character, be attached to the principles of the U.S. Constitution, be willing to bear arms on behalf of the U.S. or perform other work of national importance, and must not otherwise be barred from naturalizing, e.g., as having committed an aggravated felony. All naturalization applicants will be fingerprinted by the INS and have their criminal backgrounds reviewed by the FBI.
The applicant must demonstrate a basic ability to read, write, speak, and understand the English language. This does not apply to persons over 50 and living in the U.S. as permanent resident for 20 years or persons who are over 55 years of age and living in the U.S. as a permanent resident for 15 years. The applicant must also pass an oral or written test on the history and government of the U.S. The applicant must be interviewed in person by an INS officer.
Special consideration is given to persons over 65 with 20 years as a Legal Permanent Resident. Applicants are given a test of 10 out of 25 questions in the person’s language where they need only answer 6 correctly.
After the applicant is approved for naturalization, the applicant will attend a public ceremony and take the Oath of Allegiance to the United States. After taking the oath, the applicant will return the green card to the INS and receive a certificate of citizenship can be used to obtain a U.S. passport.
There are many special exceptions and provisions of the law for certain applicants for naturalization. Please consult your attorney regarding which options may be applicable to your case.
Documents needed to file for naturalization
Completed N-400 application:
2 ADIT-style photos with white signature strips
INS filing fee and fingerprinting fee; and
Copy of front and back of green card