Citizenship or naturalization in the United States
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Apply for your citizenship or naturalization in the United States
Chavarro Law Firm has represented hundreds of legal residents in the process of obtaining citizenship or naturalization in the United States.
This is a complex and delicate process for which the help of an experienced attorney in immigration law is always necessary.
This is the last step in the immigration process and the desired goal of many immigrants and it is also one of the strictest processes. During this process, the Immigration Department studies each case in depth, reviewing not only the criminal record of the applicant, but also your entire immigration history to determine if there were errors by the agency or past fraud or misrepresentations in the file.
If you already have legal permanent resident status in the United States and meet the requirements, don’t wait any longer and apply to obtain your American citizenship. Being a US citizen will grant you benefits, rights, privileges, responsibilities, and above all, peace of mind and stability.
What is citizenship?
It is the status that a state grants to people who are under its government and constitution and that confers a set of rights, protections and duties. In the United States, there are typically 4 different ways to obtain citizenship: by birth, by automatic acquisition, derived from the parents, or through the naturalization process.
Citizenship by birth in the United States
The fourteenth amendment to the United States Constitution establishes that everyone born in the territory of the United States (including Puerto Rico, Guam, the United States Virgin Islands and the Northern Marianas) automatically has United States citizenship.
Citizenship by automatic acquisition
In some cases, a person can acquire citizenship despite being born outside the United States. For this, at least one of the parents must be a US citizen at the time of the person's birth and a series of requirements must be met that vary according to the laws in force at the time of the person's birth. If either of your parents was a citizen at the time of your birth, it is important to consult an experienced immigration attorney to determine whether you automatically acquired citizenship.
If after a detailed consultation it is determined that you acquired citizenship automatically, you can request a Certificate of Citizenship with the Department of Immigration (“USCIS”) through the form N-600.
When one of the parents of a legal permanent resident under the age of 18 becomes naturalized, that son or daughter can derive citizenship from their father or mother, as long as that child lives under the custody of the father or mother who naturalizes. Generally, foreign born children under the age of 18 acquire U.S. citizenship if they meet 3 requirements:
- The son or daughter must have permanent resident status of the United States;
- At least one parent is or becomes a US citizen;
- The son or daughter resides in the United States in the legal and physical custody of the United States citizen parent.
It is very important to note that the laws governing the acquisition of citizenship derived from parents have changed over the years. For this reason, it is vital that a lawyer be the one who determines if you qualify for this benefit, in accordance with the law in force at the time that parent became a citizen.
If after a detailed consultation it is determined that you derived citizenship automatically, you can request a Certificate of Citizenship with the Department of Immigration (“USCIS”) through form N-600.
Naturalization is the process by which US citizenship is granted to a lawful permanent resident who meets the requirements set forth in the US immigration law.
- Be at least 18 years of age at the time of filing Form N-400, Application for Naturalization;
- Show that you have been a lawful permanent resident of the United States for at least five years or 3 years if you are married and living with a United States citizen;
- Show that you have had continuous residence (physical presence) in the United States as a lawful permanent resident for at least five years (or 3 years if married to a US citizen) immediately prior to the date of filing Form N-400;
- Demonstrate that you have been physically present in the United States for at least 30 months out of the five years immediately prior to the application processing date, or for 18 months if you are married and living with your US citizen spouse;
- Show that you have resided for at least three months in a USCIS state or district that has jurisdiction over your place of residence;
- Be a person of good moral character;
- Demonstrate adherence to the principles of the Constitution of the United States;
- Be able to read, write and communicate orally in basic English;
- Have knowledge and understand the fundamentals of the history, principles and form of government of the United States (civics);
- Take the Oath of Allegiance to the United States.
Important things to know
Rights and Duties of a United States Citizen
American citizens have a series of rights and duties that it is important to know before you apply for citizenship:
If you are a resident of the United States and want to apply for U.S. citizenship, do not hesitate to contact us.
Information of interest
Learn more about American citizenship or naturalization in the United States
Why is it important to obtain US citizenship?
Did you know that by becoming a US citizen you get more benefits than just being a permanent resident? Attorney Paola Chavarro explains to us the importance of obtaining citizenship and why it is the only way in which you can guarantee your stability in the country
Naturalization and public charge
Many people ask us if by having Obama Care or having asked the Government for some help, a permanent resident can be affected in his or her application for naturalization. In this video, Attorney Paola Chavarro gives us the answer.
How can an American citizen petition his parents?
Immigration Attorney Paola Chavarro explains how to make an application so that the parents of an American citizen can be residents of the United States.
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