Naturalización & Ciudadanía

The American citizenship brings many benefits and rights, such as exercise their right to vote, travel with the “American” passport, stay for long time outside the United States and not be subjected to deportation. Even if the person was NOT born in the United States, they can become a US citizen. 

Ways to obtain American citizenship: 

  • Naturalization 

It is the process by which US citizenship is granted to a lawful permanent resident after fulfilling the requirements established by law.

Basic requirements:

  • Be at least eighteen years old.
  • Gaining permanent resident makes 5 years or 3 years if you are married to an American citizen.
  • Have been physically present in the United States for at least 30 months out of the previous five years. However, if the applicant was absent for more than six months, but less than a year, the applicant may still be eligible if he can show that the absence was not an abandonment of resident status.
  • The applicant must demonstrate good moral character during the five-year period prior to application (three years if married to a U.S. citizen or one year for certain military exceptions). 
  • Be able to read, write, speak, and understand words in English and must demonstrate knowledge of United States history. Some applicants may be exempt from due to age or mental condition.

Apply to the US

When a person applies for US citizenship, the immigration agency will examine ALL the file from years ago and verify if the person really met all the requirements at the time of obtaining permanent residence. The agency may even request records from the applicant’s country of origin. If something new and problematic is revealed, the agency may deny the application for naturalization and also put the person in removal proceedings. 

Before submitting an application for naturalization, it is highly recommended that you consult with an experienced immigration attorney.

  • Citizenship for military

To qualify, you must serve or have served with honor in one of the branches of the United States armed forces, the Coast Guard, the Reserve Corps, and the National Guard.

  • Some Adoption Cases

Citizenship by Acquisition & Derivation

A person with one or both parents who are citizens may also be citizens even if they were not born in the United States. 

Acquisition of Citizenship 

  • Have at least one United States citizen parent at birth. 
  • Your citizen parent lived in the United States for a certain amount of time that varies according to your date of birth and the circumstances of your birth.

Derivation of Citizenship 

  • Being the child of a foreign national who became a U.S. citizen before the child’s 18th birthday.
  • Be single and under 18 years of age.
  • Obtained permanent residence before the age of 18;
  • Reside in the United States; 
  • Have lived under the legal and physical custody of their US citizen parent.

These are extremely complex processes Seek legal advice from an experienced immigration attorney. 

Mayrise DeLaTorre

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