Becoming a U.S. Citizen

Becoming a U.S. Citizen2019-02-14T04:06:19+00:00

What are the benefits of becoming a United States Citizen?

  • Voting in both state and federal elections
  • Bringing family to the United States. Citizens are granted priority when they petition to bring family members to the United States
  • Obtaining Citizenship for Children Born Abroad. A child born abroad to a U.S. Citizen is automatically a U.S. citizen
  • Traveling with a U.S. passport. Allows assistance from the United States government when a Citizen is outside the United States
  • Eligibility for Federal Jobs. Most U.S. government agencies require U.S. Citizenship
  • Eligibility to become an elected official. Most elected offices require U.S. Citizenship

Are you Eligible to Apply for U.S. Citizenship?

There are three ways to become a U.S. Citizen, though Acquisition, Derivation, or Naturalization.

Naturalization: In order to naturalize, you must already be Lawful Permanent Resident (Green Card Holder) and meet the following requirements to apply for naturalization.

  • 18 years or older at the time of filing;
  • Green Card Holder for at least 5 years (or 3, if married to a U.S. Citizen) immediately before the date of filing the N-400, Application for Naturalization;
  • Have lived within the State/USCIS district with jurisdiction over the applicants residence for 90 days or more prior to the date of filing for the application.
    • Students can apply for naturalization when they go to school or where their family lives
  • Have continuous residence in the U.S. as a green card holder for 5 years (or 3, if married to a U.S. Citizen) before filing the application; *Prolonged trips outside of the U.S. can break this continuous resident requirement!
  • Be physical present in the U.S. for a minimum of 30 cumulative months out of 5 years before filing the application (or 18 months if applying based on marriage to a U.S. citizen);
  • Continuously reside in the U.S. from the date of application for naturalization up until the time of naturalization;
  • Be able to read, write, and speak English well and have knowledge of US history and government. There are certain exceptions to this rule based on age and length of residence in the U.S.;
  • Possess good moral character outlined in the Constitution of the U.S. and be well-disposed to the good order and happiness of the U.S. during all relevant periods under the law

Acquisition or Derivation: You may also qualify for U.S. citizenship based on the citizenship status of your parents, the year you were born and other factors.

For more information about your specific situation, please contact our office for a consultation at 360.399.6167 or hpai@hollypailaw.com