For many immigrants, citizenship is a sigh of relief and the end of a long journey. It means the immigrant can permanently live in the United States; is no longer subject to any grounds of deportability; is eligible to receive a U.S. passport; is eligible to vote in any state or federal election; may hold certain government job and serve on a jury; and qualify for public benefit.
Citizenship may be acquired at birth, derived from parents, or through the naturalization process.
- Acquisition at birth occurs when (1) you were born in the United States or certain territories subject to U.S. jurisdiction OR (2) if you were born abroad and had a parent or parents that were citizens at the time of your birth and meet other requirements.
- Derivative citizenship occurs when citizenship is given to children through the naturalization of parents if certain conditions are met.
- Naturalization is the process that enables a permanent resident to apply for U.S. citizenship. Generally, an applicant must be at least 18 years old; permanent resident for at least five years (three years if based on marriage to a U.S. citizen); physically present in the U.S. for at least half the time; reside at least three months in the jurisdiction of the USCIS office in which the application is file; a person of good moral character; able to demonstrate an understanding of the English language through reading, writing, and speaking; has knowledge of U.S. history and government; and takes the oath of allegiance. Exceptions and accommodations to the naturalization requirement are available for those who qualify, including English language exemption, medical disability waiver, disability accommodation, and oath of allegiance modification.
To get started on your naturalization application or if you have questions pertaining to possibly being a citizenship, contact us immediately to discuss the process. We can help you get on the right track to becoming a U.S. citizen.