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apply for citizenship in the united states

Apply For Citizenship

US citizenship through naturalization is the process by which individuals born in a foreign country, with foreign citizenship, can become a US citizen. We can help you gain citizenship today!

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Who is Eligible for US Citizenship?

There are various ways a person can become a naturalized citizen, including through marriage, through a close relative, through military service, as well as through a US citizen parent(s). In addition, individuals who secure a green card (or legal permanent resident status) via employment or asylum/refugee status are also able to apply for citizenship through naturalization. We will explore your citizenship options below.

Click the citizenship category below to learn more about citizenship by:

Eligibility for Naturalization

Although the naturalization category that an individual falls under will include additional requirements, there are basic eligibility requirements to be able to apply for naturalization to become a US citizen. These general requirements include the following; An applicant must be at least 18 years old when submitting the application; They must have been a lawful permanent resident (LPR) for the past three or five years. (The number of years is dependent on which naturalization category a person is applying under); The applicant must have continuous residence and physical presence in the United States. This means they cannot leave the US for an extended period of time;

  • They must be able to read, write, and speak basic English;

  • They must demonstrate good moral character;

  • The applicant must also show a knowledge/understanding of U.S. history and government;

  • They must also demonstrate loyalty to the principles of the U.S. Constitution; and finally

  • The applicant must be willing to take the Oath of Allegiance.

Apply for citizenship by Marriage 

Marriage to a U.S. citizen is one of the most common ways that foreign nationals gain U.S. citizenship. A foreigner who has been married to their U.S. citizen spouse for at least three years, may apply for a green card, and later, naturalization if all other statutory requirements are met.

Naturalization applicants whose eligibility is based on marriage to their U.S. citizen spouse must meet a three-year physical presence & continuous residence requirement, demonstrate good moral character, and must pass the US civics and English exams at their citizenship interview. Individuals with a disability or if they meet certain age requirements may be exempt from the English and US Civics exams.

To receive US citizenship through marriage, the individual must apply for a green card by demonstrating the marriage relationship between the immigrant spouse and the US citizen. Various documents and forms will also be submitted to prove the marriage. If the immigrant spouse is in the US, then they can also file to adjust their status at the same. If they are not in the US, they will adjust their status at a later point.

In addition to the application, there are additional interviews that may be conducted to verify the marriage before a green card is issued to the foreign spouse. However, once a green card is secured through marriage, then the individual will be eligible for naturalization or application for US citizenship after the applicable amount of time has passed and additional eligibility requirements are met.

US Citizenship Through Other Relatives

Naturalized citizens can petition for their close family members through one of the family-based immigration preference categories that will confer a green card on the foreign family member provided all eligibility requirements are met.

These legal permanent residents (green card holders) must generally wait five years after receiving their green card to apply for US citizenship. It is also important to note that it can take a notable amount of time for such individuals to receive their green cards in these family-based immigration preference categories.

Naturalization applicants whose eligibility is based on five years of legal permanent resident status must satisfy the five-year physical presence & continuous residence requirements, demonstrate good moral character and must pass the US civics and English exams at their citizenship interview.

US Citizenship Through Military Service

A foreigner who honorably serves in the US Armed Forces may be eligible for US citizenship through naturalization. If a person serves in the US military during a period of hostility, the individual can immediately apply for naturalization and must complete their military service honorably.

If a person serves during peacetime, the individual must serve at least one year honorably, obtain a green card, and must file the application while in service or within 6-months post service. The US military and associated installations and outposts generally have designated individuals who can provide additional information.

In addition, an experienced immigration attorney can also assist a service member who wishes to apply for citizenship based on military service. The application process will include requisite forms as well as a certificate of military service demonstrating honorable service along with other documents.

Apply for Citizenship Through Parents

In addition, to naturalization for foreigners, there are some people who may be qualified for US citizenship by birth but for some reason have difficulty in proving their status. In general, any person born on US soil is considered a natural-born US citizen and will receive a US birth certificate and may apply for a US passport.

However, some people may have difficulties proving that they were born in the US for various reasons such as because their parents were undocumented, or if they were not born in a formal hospital setting. In such cases, US citizenship can be demonstrated through secondary sources like witness testimony, baptismal records & medical or academic records.

Additionally, children born abroad may also acquire US citizenship at birth if one or both parents are US citizens and other requirements are met. If a child is born to US citizen parent(s) while abroad, a Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA) should immediately be filed with the local US Embassy in the country where the child was born so that the child’s birth may be properly documented and US Citizenship may be confirmed.

Not all persons having U.S. Citizen parents are eligible for citizenship automatically. The immigration laws in effect at the time of the person’s birth will determine their eligibility for U.S. citizenship.

The case and applicable laws must be carefully examined to determine which procedure is appropriate for each situation. In general, persons who have a parent who becomes a U.S. citizen after their birth, and before they reach age 18, will have a pathway to citizenship. However, they must first enter the US as a legal permanent resident.

Apply for Citizenship through Employment 

Securing a green card is the first step to being able to apply for naturalization. A green card means that a person is a legal permanent resident in the United States. Individuals can secure a green card through some US employment options as well as through approved asylum/refugee status. A qualified job offer may provide a path to citizenship if it is a green card-based opportunity.

This means that the US employment will qualify the applicant at some point to secure legal permanent residency (green card). Once such a green card is secured, US citizenship through naturalization will be possible provided sufficient time has passed and additional eligibility requirements are met. Immigrants with exceptional abilities may be able to secure legal permanent residency through a self-petition.

Individuals who may qualify under this category should consult an attorney to determine if this option is available to them as a means to citizenship through naturalization.

US Citizenship through Asylum/Refugee status

In addition to ]naturalization for foreigners, there are some people who may be qualified for US citizenship by birth but for some reason have difficulty in proving their status. In general, any person born on US soil is considered a natural-born US citizen and will receive a US birth certificate and may apply for a US passport.

However, some people may have difficulties proving that they were born in the US for various reasons such as because their parents were undocumented, or if they were not born in a formal hospital setting. In such cases, US citizenship can be demonstrated through secondary sources like witness testimony, baptismal records & medical or academic records.

Additionally, children born abroad may also acquire US citizenship at birth if one or both parents are US citizens and other requirements are met. If a child is born to US citizen parent(s) while abroad, a Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA) should immediately be filed with the local US Embassy in the country where the child was born so that the child’s birth may be properly documented and US Citizenship may be confirmed. Not all persons having U.S. Citizen parents are eligible for citizenship automatically.

The immigration laws in effect at the time of the person’s birth will determine their eligibility for U.S. citizenship. The case and applicable laws must be carefully examined to determine which procedure is appropriate for each situation. In general, persons who have a parent who becomes a U.S. citizen after their birth, and before they reach age 18, will have a pathway to citizenship. However, they must first enter the US as a legal permanent resident.

Are You Ready to file your citizenship application?

Applications for naturalization can generally be filed online or by paper and mailed to the responsible office. Online filing is often more efficient and requires a USCIS online account. Contact our office to learn more about filing for citizenship.

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Filing Applications

Filing Electronically

Once the account is created, forms, evidence, and associated fees can be submitted and paid electronically. Electronic filers will also receive case status updates in their account and will be able to track and view their case history. In addition, such filers can also quickly and easily address and requests for additional evidence that USCIS might issue. 

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Filing By Paper

Individuals who opt to file by paper must complete the requisite forms carefully and sign them. They must include any required filing fees via the payment method specified and must provide supporting documents/evidence in a paper format in the application. Such filers can still create a USCIS online account to receive status updates although it might take longer for all their information to be included/uploaded.

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Filing IS Complete!

Once applications for naturalization are filed, a confirmation receipt is generally issued. Next, a biometric services notice will be sent or issued to the applicant. The applicant will attend the biometric services appointment to provide fingerprinting and additional data to the USCIS.  

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