Naturalization is one way in which a person can acquire U.S. citizenship. For a brief discussion of other ways one can acquire U.S. citizenship, click here. In sum, naturalization is the conferring of U.S. Citizenship after birth by any means whatsoever.
Benefits of U.S. Citizenship:
Generally, having a Green Card is a pre-requisite to applying for naturalization. Therefore, if a person already has a Green Card, he or she may simply continuously renew his or her Green Card and remain and work legally in the United States. However, having a Green Card, as opposed to being a U.S. Citizen, poses numerous risks. For instance, a Green Card Holder is subject to (1) inadmissibility when returning to the U.S. after traveling abroad and (2) deportation from the United States for certain violations of U.S. law. In addition, Green Card Holders, unlike U.S. Citizens, are subject to changing immigration laws.
U.S. citizenship provides numerous benefits, including,
- Ability to vote in federal elections;
- Shorter wait times when petitioning to sponsor some family members to immigrate to the U.S.;
- Ability to sponsor more types of family members to immigrate to the U.S.;
- Ability to travel abroad without worrying about inadmissibility and losing one’s Green Card;
- Not being subject to deportation, subject to some exceptions;
- Not having to continuously renew one’s Green Card;
- Eligibility for additional federal jobs, grants, scholarships, and government benefits; and,
Although the eligibility requirements will often depend upon the applicant’s specific situation, generally, a person seeking to become a U.S. Citizen via naturalization must meet the following requirements:
- Be 18 years old or more;
- Be a lawfully-admitted U.S. Permanent Resident for a certain amount of time;
- Demonstrate continuous residence in the U.S. for a certain amount of time;
- Show physical presence in the U.S. for a minimum amount of time;
- Show that you have lived in the state or USCIS district where you will apply for a minimum amount of time;
- Be a person of good moral character;
- Be able to read, write, speak, and understand basic English;
- Have a basic knowledge of U.S. history and government;
- Demonstrate an attachment to the principles and ideals of the U.S. Constitution; and,
- Take an oath of allegiance to the United States.
Process of Obtaining U.S. Citizenship via Naturalization:
If you have any questions about naturalization or require immigration representation, contact us today by clicking here.