For many immigrants, becoming a U.S. citizen is the highlight of a lifetime. There are different pathways to citizenship depending upon your background
A person may derive or acquire U.S. citizenship at birth. Persons who are born in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction of the United States are citizens at birth. Persons who are born in certain territories or outlying possessions of the United States are also eligible for citizenship at birth, including persons born in Puerto Rico, Canal Zone or Republic of Panama, Virgin Islands and Guam. Persons born in American Samoa and Swain Island are not citizens of the United States, See INA 308.
Persons who are born outside of the United States may be U.S. citizens at birth if one or both parents were U.S. citizens at their time of birth.
Persons who are not U.S. citizens at birth may become U.S. citizens through naturalization. Naturalization is the conferring of U.S. citizenship after birth. An applicant files a naturalization application and then USCIS grants citizenship after adjudicating the application. A person may not be naturalized unless he or she has been lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence, i.e., is a green card holder.
Benefits of U.S. Citizenship includes the ability to vote in Federal elections; to travel with a U.S. Passport; to run for elective office where citizenship is required; to participate on a jury; to become eligible for federal and certain law enforcement jobs; to obtain certain State and Federal benefits not available to noncitizens; and to obtain citizenship for minor children born abroad.
The naturalization process has with it many benefits, including being able to sponsor immigrant relatives, living and working within the United States indefinitely and the possibility of obtaining a U.S. passport.
That said, there is a criteria that applicants must have in order to apply. Generally speaking, an applicant must be:
- At least 18 years old;
- A lawful permanent resident of the United States;
- Residing "continuously" within the United States for at least five years as a lawful permanent resident (or at least three years if married to a United States citizen);
- Physically present within the United States for at least 30 months of the necessary five years preceding filing the application for naturalization (or physically present within the United States for at least 18 months of the necessary three years if applying based on marriage to a United States citizen);
- Residing within the state where they are applying for naturalization for at least three months prior to filing their application;
- Continuously residing within the United States from the date of application for naturalization up to the time of citizenship;
- A person of good moral character and have an attachment to the principles of the Constitution;
- Able to read, write, speak and understand English; and
- Able to demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of the United States history and government.
At the very least, he or she must be a permanent resident for five years or married to a U.S. citizen for at least three. The naturalization process can be confusing and the USCIS information may be complicated. Because the USCIS will fully review your background, it is important not to have any inconsistent or incomplete information that can cause delay or rejection. If you are ues, we encourage you to get in touch.
Tennessee Naturalization Lawyer
Our immigration rights attorney and team will bring the experience we have honed in more than two decades of experience working on tens of thousands of cases to help you reach an ideal outcome. We encourage you to get in touch as soon as possible. Our fusion or personalized counsel with comprehensive knowledge has helped us reach significant success during our tenure. We are ready to bring it to work in your case.
To schedule an initial consultation with a Memphis Immigration attorney, call (901) 692-5732 or with a New York City Immigration Attorney, call (646) 380-0474 or contact Witty Law Group, PLLC.