Citizenship/Naturalization

At EIG, we understand the importance of U.S. citizenship and the great advantages that come with it.  We also know that obtaining citizenship in the U.S. can appear complex.

We have over 25 years of experience and regularly handle citizenship cases involving naturalization, birth abroad to U.S. citizen parents, and citizenship obtained through the operation of law, equipping us with the tools necessary to uncomplicate the complicated on your journey toward U.S. citizenship.

So, whatever your reason for wanting to obtain U.S. citizenship – the right to vote, the ability to obtain immigration benefits for family members, protection from deportation, better tax or job benefits, no immigration paperwork to renew, or greater freedom to travel abroad – we will guide you through the this process the right way, the first time.

If you are pursuing citizenship in the U.S. or would like more information about the process, please contact us…we want to help you.

Naturalization

Naturalization is the most common way by which an individual from another country can obtain U.S. citizenship.  Since U.S. citizenship is the apex of the immigration process, it is imperative that your application is handled flawlessly by an experienced attorney.  Your U.S. citizenship not only solidifies your status in the U.S., but it could also strengthen the status of your family members in the U.S. for generations to come.

If you would like to apply for citizenship in the U.S. through naturalization, you must meet the following requirements:

AGE:

You must be at least 18 years of age to apply.  If you are under 18 years of age, you may naturalize automatically if your parents become citizens.

RESIDENCY:

You must be a lawful permanent resident (green card holder) for at least 5 years.  If you are married to a U.S. citizen, you only need to be a lawful permanent resident for at least 3 years.

RESIDENCE AND PHYSICAL PRESENCE:

You must be continuously residing in the U.S. as a lawful permanent resident for at least 5 years as well as have been physically present in the U.S. for at least half of the 5 years (30 months).  If you are married to a U.S. citizen, you must be physically present for at least half of the 3 years (18 months).  You must also be residing in the state from which you are applying for at least three months.

GOOD MORAL CHARACTER AND ATTACHMENT TO THE PRINCIPLES OF THE U.S. CONSTITUTION:

You must be a person of ‘good moral character’ and also must be able to prove that you have paid your taxes in the U.S., have no criminal record, and have not been involved in any illegal acts.

A person cannot be found to be a person of good moral character if, during the last five years, he or she:

  • Has committed and been convicted of one or more crimes involving moral turpitude;
  • Has committed and been convicted of 2 or more offenses for which the total sentence   imposed was 5 years or more;
  • Has committed and been convicted of any controlled substance law, except for a single offense of simple possession of 30 grams or less of marijuana;
  • Has been confined to a penal institution during the statutory period, as a result of a         conviction, for an aggregate period of 180 days or more;
  • Has committed and been convicted of two or more gambling offenses;
  • Is or has earned his or her principal income from illegal gambling;
  • Is or has been involved in prostitution or commercialized vice;
  • Is or has been involved in smuggling illegal aliens into the United States;
  • Is or has been a habitual drunkard;
  • Is practicing or has practiced polygamy;
  • Has willfully failed or refused to support dependents;
  • Has given false testimony, under oath, in order to receive a benefit under the                     Immigration and Nationality Act.
LANGUAGE:

You must be able to speak, read, write, and understand English.

KNOWLEDGE OF THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT AND HISTORY:

You must be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the fundamentals of U.S. history and principles of government.

RESIDENCE AFTER YOUR APPLICATION IS FILED:

In most cases, you must reside continuously in the U.S. from the date you file your application until the date of your approval.

While these are the basic requirements for naturalization, each of the above is a uniquely defined term.  In addition to the general rules and definitions, USCIS has also established exceptions and procedures, which allow for a great deal of discretion in certain circumstances.

If you would like to apply for U.S. citizenship through naturalization, or if you have any questions regarding the process, please contact us to speak with one of our immigration attorneys today!