Citizenship through naturalization
Naturalization is the process by which a green card holder becomes an American citizen by taking a naturalization test and having his or her application reviewed by a USCIS officer during a personal interview.
You May Qualify for Naturalization if you meet the following general requirements:
- you must be at least 18 years old
- you must have 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 a U.S. citizen)
- you must have 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)
- you must be able to show you have “good moral character” for the last 5 years (3 years if married to a U.S. citizen)
- you must demonstrate an ability to speak, read, write, and understand English and be able to pass a U.S. history/civics examination (You may be excused from this requirement if you can prove that you suffer from a mental or physical impairment which prevents you from learning English or U.S. history).
Applicants over 50 years old that have been lawful permanents resident for at least 20 years, or are over 55 years old and have been lawful permanent residents for at least 15 years, may be exempt from the English proficiency requirement and may take the history and civics test in their native language.
In many instances, this is the last time the applicant will have an application before the United States immigration authorities so his or her file will be carefully reviewed, including his past applications before USCIS. Furthermore, USCIS may review events that are not in the applicant’s immigration file. Events that occurred before and after obtaining the green card can be examined. It is very advisable to consult with a well versed immigration attorney before applying for naturalization, particularly if the applicant has ever been arrested. Mistakes in the naturalization application can lead to delays in the process, denials, and even revocation of the green card in the most extreme cases.
Regardless, of where you live in the United States, South Florida immigration Law Offices, P.A. of Jorge Delgado can provide advice before you apply for naturalization. If naturalization is a viable path for you, then immigration lawyer Jorge L. Delgado can represent you throughout the process.
Derivative or acquired citizenship
Under some circumstances, children (whether biological or adopted) can obtain the American citizenship through one or both of their parents’ naturalization. Children born outside the United States to at least one American parent might also be a U.S. citizen. The conditions have changed through the years so the date of birth is fundamental in determine if American citizenship was acquired at birth, If you believe you may have derived or acquired U.S. citizenship through a parent, contact South Florida immigration lawyer Jorge L. Delgado. An experienced attorney 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.