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United States citizenship is the most precious and protected status under the immigration laws. A U.S. citizen enjoys the right to vote in America, and, unlike a lawful permanent resident, a U.S. citizen cannot face removal from the United States and is not required to live in the United States.
We represent people in all areas of citizenship, including applications for naturalization and applications for derivative or acquired citizenship.
Naturalization is the process by which a foreign national applies to become a U.S. citizen. To qualify for naturalization, the applicant must meet the following general requirements 1. be at least 18 years old 2. has been continuously residing in the United States for at least 5 years after being admitted as a lawful permanent resident (3 years if married to and living with a U.S. citizen), 3. has been physically present in the United States for at least 30 months in the 5 years immediately before filing the naturalization application (18 months if married to a U.S. citizen), 4. be able to show “good moral character” for the last 5 years (3 years if married to a U.S. citizen) and 5. demonstrate an ability to speak, read, write, and understand English and be able to pass a U.S. history/civics examination (an applicant may be excused from this requirement if he or she suffer from a mental or physical impairment which prevents him or her from learning English or U.S. history. Also, if the applicant is over 50 years old and has been a lawful permanent resident for at least 20 years, or if the applicant is over 55 years old and have been a lawful permanent resident for at least 15 years, you may be exempt from the English proficiency requirement and may demonstrate knowledge of U.S. history and civics in a native language.
Lawful permanent residents who have decided to make the United States their permanent home should apply for naturalization so that they may enjoy all the benefits and protections of being a United States citizen. Moreover, residency can be taken away. Certain criminal offenses can render a resident ineligible for naturalization and subject to deportation. A citizen cannot be deported. Understanding the value and importance of citizenship, our firm has been instrumental in conveying the message about the naturalization process to the community, including participation in workshops and events to promote citizenship for eligible immigrants.
Claims to Derivative or Acquired Citizenship
Certain foreign-born individuals are considered by law to be United States citizens either because one or more of their parents were U.S. citizens at the time of their birth abroad or because they were living in the United States as lawful permanent residents and were under 18 when one or more of their parents naturalized. There are many people living in the United States that are U.S. citizens and do not realize it. There is a process to obtain a citizenship certificate from the Department of Homeland Security that can be used to obtain a United States passport. If you have questions about naturalization or citizenship, contact us for a consultation with an attorney. We will determine if you have a valid claim to U.S. citizenship and may help you to obtain a Certificate of Citizenship and U.S. Passport.