Becoming a US Citizen
Becoming an American citizen is a privilege and is most prized around the world. If you are a permanent resident or were born to an American citizen parent(s), you may qualify for citizenship.
American citizens may apply for a US passport, whereas permanent residents generally cannot unless they become American citizens first. There are many other benefits to becoming a citizen, such as new employment opportunities, greater access to government assistance programs, and the possibility to vote in federal elections. In addition, if you become a US citizen and have children, you will automatically obtain citizenship.
Although the whole process of becoming a citizen and dealing with US immigration laws may feel hard and intimidating, it may be worthwhile. Please call our office to request a consultation with a US Citizenship Lawyer and ask if you qualify for citizenship.
US Citizenship Laws and Procedures
Individuals can become U.S. citizens by being born in the U.S. or if they are born to parents who were U.S. citizens. In general, an individual can obtain citizenship through US citizen parents at birth or after birth but before they turn 18. That legal concept is called “acquisition.” Acquisition of citizenship can pass down the generations. That means if you have a US-citizen grandparent, and certain eligibility requirements are met, you may be able to become a US citizen.
Congress has enacted laws that determine how children born outside of the U.S. by a citizen parent can convey citizenship. However, certain persons born abroad but adopted by an American parent may also acquire citizenship from their parent, providing them meet certain requirements. Also, some adopted children may automatically derive U.S. citizenship on the date that their parents become naturalized citizens, which means that they will not have to apply for U.S. citizenship on their own.
There is another possibility – an individual can become a U.S. citizen through naturalization. It is the process through which an immigrant can become a U.S. citizen. However, certain requirements established by Congress in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) have to be met.
Benefits of Becoming a Legal Resident
As a legal resident, you are still subject to immigration laws and potentially Immigration Court. Long-term legal residents are often deported because they either forget to renew their green cards or choose not to naturalize.
It is highly recommended that you take the final step and seek citizenship. Once you have naturalized, you are no longer subject to immigration laws or Immigration Court and you also become eligible to vote.
Do not risk losing everything you have built in this country, such as your family, career, and home. Contact us today and we will skillfully guide you in the process of becoming a United States citizen.
What Are the Requirements to Become an American Citizen?
There are several conditions that have to be met in order to be eligible to become a US citizen.
Physical Presence Requirement
- If you are applying for citizenship based on being a permanent resident for three years you must have been physically present in the U.S. for at least eighteen months of the last three years and have been living in the USCIS district or State in which you are applying for at least three months.
- If you are applying for citizenship based on being a permanent resident for five years you must have been physically present in the U.S. for at least thirty months of the last five years and have been living in the USCIS district or State in which you are applying for at least three months.
- If you were born in the US or have US citizen parent(s), you may already be an American citizen or may apply. Please contact us for more details.
You cannot apply for US citizenship if you have been convicted of murder or of any other aggravated felony. Tax Return: In order to apply for US citizenship, you must show compliance with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). You are required to submit certified tax returns for the last five years (three years if you are married to a US citizen).
If you are a male who lived in the US during the ages of 18-26 with any status other than as a lawful nonimmigrant you must have registered with the Selective Service System. Proof of selective service registration is required when applying for citizenship.
How Do I Begin?
Andrew T. Thomas, Attorneys at Law, can provide valuable insight and advice on US citizenship immigration laws and procedures.
Call us to speak with our immigration lawyers in Texas. We will guide you through the entire citizenship process. Our Texas immigration lawyers are experts and can help you through the step-by-step process from start to finish.
You can’t put a price on freedom. For years the USA has been the land of the free and the home of the brave. Being a legal citizen of the United States has long been considered a privilege and the US has a lengthy history of welcoming immigrants from all over the world. Americans put an high value on the contributions immigrants have made throughout the history of their country.
You may be able to naturalize as a U.S. citizen. Generally, you must be a Green-Card holder, also known as a Lawful Permanent Resident (“LPR”) for at least five years to be eligible to apply for naturalization as a U.S. citizen, but there are exceptions wherein you may be eligible sooner than five years.
You may already be a U.S. citizen even if not born in the U.S. but only if one or both of your parents were U.S. citizens at the time of your birth. The U.S. Congress changes the transmission rules every so often and whether or not you are a citizen depends on the rules in effect at the time of your birth.
You may already be or may become a U.S. citizen through acquisition even if not born in the U.S. and even if neither of your parents was a U.S. citizen at the time of your birth. Generally, if prior to your eighteenth birthday you become a Green-Card holder and your parents naturalize as U.S. citizens, then you will automatically acquire U.S. citizenship.