US Naturalization is the process of acquiring the citizenship by an individual who fulfills the requirements provided by the Immigration and Nationality Act (“INA”). There are certain conditions that may make you temporary (or permanently) ineligible for citizenship, such as arrests, criminal convictions, child support arrears, divorce from U.S. spouse, travels outside of the country for extended periods of time, lack of English language skills. There are certain exceptions provided by the law that allow applicants to qualify for naturalization despite above mentioned problems. We assist individuals with the naturalization process by carefully analyzing client’s eligibility for naturalization, filing the necessary documents, preparing and accompanying clients to the Naturalization Interview.
General requirements for becoming a U.S. citizen:
- Must be at least 18 years old;
- Must have resided continuously as a Lawful Permanent Resident (Green Card) in the U.S. for five (5) years prior to filing the application. If currently married to and living with a U.S. citizen, must have a Lawful Permanent Resident status (Green Card) for three (3) years;
- Must have been physically present in the United States for at least thirty (30) months out of the previous five (5) years or eighteen (18) months out of the previous three (3) years;
- Note: Even a single absence from the United States for more than six months but less than one year disrupts the applicant's continuity of residence. An applicant is required to prove that he or she did not abandon residence during such period. By being absent from the United States for more than one year, an applicant actively abandons residency.
- Must not be absent from the United States for more than one year;
- Must have resided continuously within the United States from the date of the application up to the time of admission to citizenship;
- Must have resided within a state where a petition is filed for at least three months;
- Must demonstrate a good moral character;
- Must be able to read, write, and speak English (certain exceptions apply);
- Must have a basic knowledge and understanding of U.S. history and government;
- Must demonstrate attachment to the principles of the U.S. Constitution; and
- Must demonstrate favorable disposition toward the United States.
Please note: If you are applying based on five (5) years as a Lawful Permanent Resident or three (3) years as a Lawful Permanent Resident married to a U.S. citizen, you may file for naturalization up to ninety (90) days before five (5) or three (3) years run out.