There are many benefits to becoming a U.S. Citizen. Whether it’s the employment opportunities, the ability to travel, or because you want to vote, our office can help you file the strongest application for naturalization possible. U.S. Citizens have many benefits that permanent residents and non-residents do not have. U.S. citizens can travel abroad for as long as they wish, they can hold office, work anywhere in the country, apply for government jobs, and can help their family members become permanent residents (a topic which will be covered in depth in another blog post). U.S. Citizens can also exercise the right to vote, and can’t be removed from the country if they are found guilty of a crime.
Are you eligible for citizenship?
In order to become a U.S. Citizen, you must:
- Be over the age of 18
- Be a U.S. resident for at least five years (three if you obtained the residency based on marriage to a U.S. Citizen)
- Have been outside the country for less than 180 days (6 months) in the last 5 years.
- You must reside in the state or county at least 3 months before filing of the application for naturalization
- You must be a person of good moral character at the time you are filing your application. If you have committed a crime, committed fraud, or misrepresentation this may preclude you from filing your application for naturalization. If you have received a DUI you may not be eligible to apply for naturalization.
- Be able to pass the citizenship and English language exam in the citizenship test. however, you do not need to pass the English test if:
- You have been a permanent resident for 20 years, and are over the age of 50.
- You have been a permanent resident for 15 years, and are over the age of 55.
If you have any criminal convictions, arrests, unpaid taxes, unpaid child support, unpaid alimony or other issues that may cause the immigration officer to question your good moral character, you should consult with an attorney before filing your application for naturalization.
Special Considerations for Military and other individuals
Members of the armed forces may not required to meet all of these requirements.
For more information please contact our office.