Characteristics of Naturalization
- Naturalization refers to the process of becoming a US citizen.
- The first step in naturalization is usually permanent residency by obtaining a green card.
- To become naturalized, the holder of a green card must live in the United States for 5 unbroken years. This requirement is shortened to 3 years if the foreign national is married to a U.S. citizen. (There are several additional exceptions to this requirement.)
- Qualified applicants must also meet some academic requirements, including English proficiency and an understanding of U.S. history and government. These requirements are met by passing examinations, but these can sometimes be waived under certain circumstances.
- Applicants must also meet a standard of moral character, requiring that they have not participated in criminal activity of any kind.
- Applicants must also be able to affirm that they do not seek the overthrow of the US Government or belong to any organization that seeks it, nor can they typically be a member of the Communist Party or affiliated organizations. They cannot have been military deserters or draft evaders (unless pardoned), nor can they be under a final order of deportation. They also cannot have claimed exemption from military service on the grounds that they are an foreign national, with certain exceptions.
If you are contemplating naturalization and meet the above requirements, contact us for a free consultation. Our attorneys have helped many on their journey to citizenship, and they have a long and proven track record of success.
Whatever your specific circumstances may be, our attorneys will consult with you to come up with the strategy that is best suited for your situation. We will prepare the relevant documentation that is needed for a successful petition, in recognition of the most recent changes in immigration regulations. If any follow-up interactions with the U.S. government our necessary, we address them proactively to represent you as effectively as possible. Call us today or meet with us in person at one of our three west coast offices.