Citizenship & Naturalization

HELPING YOU THROUGH THE CITIZENSHIP & NATURALIZATION PROCESS

The process of naturalization or obtaining citizenship in the United States can be complex, time-intensive, and sometimes confusing. To ensure success, it is necessary to completely understand each step of the naturalization and citizenship process. Careful preparation of all documents, evidence, and forms is required to avoid delays, rejections, and additional fees. If you or a loved one are considering becoming a U.S. citizen through naturalization, contact an immigration attorney at Atherley Law Firm who can guide you through each step of the process, interpreting the law, examining your rights, providing options, preparing the required forms, and submitting the necessary evidence and paperwork according to the strict guidelines of the USCIS.

NATURALIZATION & CITIZENSHIP

Naturalization and citizenship are terms that are often used interchangeably, but despite similarities, have distinct differences. While Certificates of Citizenship and Certificates of Naturalization both serve as proof of U.S. citizenship, the eligibility requirements for each differ. A Certificate of Citizenship is available to people who were born outside of the United States and automatically acquired or derived U.S. citizenship through birth to, or adoption by a U.S. citizen parent. On the other hand, a Certificate of Naturalization is given to a lawful permanent resident by USCIS after the requirements established by Congress in the Immigration and Nationality Act are fulfilled.

Naturalization is the process where a foreign citizen or national is granted U.S. citizenship after fulfilling the requirements established in the Immigration and Nationality Act. People not born in the United States who want to become citizens of the United States must go through a legal process to become naturalized citizens. Naturalization typically applies to green card holders only and is a voluntarily process.

2 TYPES OF UNITED STATES CITIZENSHIP:

  • CITIZENSHIP FROM BIRTH
  • CITIZENSHIP THROUGH NATURALIZATION PROCESS

4 WAYS TO BECOME A UNITED STATES CITIZEN:

  • BIRTH:Anyone born in the United State of America and subject to the jurisdiction of the United States is a U.S. Citizen.
  • U.S. CITIZEN PARENTS:People born outside of the United States but who are born to U.S. Citizens parents may become citizens at birth through acquisition of U.S. citizenship.
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  • NATURALIZATION:Citizenship can be obtained through completing the naturalization process after having permanent residency for the required amount of time.
  • DERIVATION OF CITIZENSHIP:Through derivation of citizenship, people who are lawful permanent residents of the United States and whose parents are United States citizens through naturalization, birth in the United States, or acquisition of citizenship may be eligible for U.S. citizenship.

BENEFITS TO CITIZENSHIP & NATURALIZATION

Many benefits can be derived from obtaining United States citizenship. These benefits include:

  1. U.S. CITIZENS CAN PETITION FOR FAMILY MEMBERS TO IMMIGRATE
  2. CANNOT BE DENIED ENTRY INTO NOR REMOVED FROM THE U.S.
  3. RIGHT TO VOTE IN ELECTIONS
  4. RIGHT TO HOLD PUBLIC ELECTED OFFICE
  5. RIGHT TO APPLY FOR CERTAIN FEDERAL & STATE GOVERNMENT JOBS
  6. EASIER TRAVEL IN CERTAIN FOREIGN COUNTRIES
  7. U.S. CITIZENS NEVER NEED TO RENEW NATURALIZATION CERTIFICATES
  8. ELIGIBILITY FOR CERTAIN GOVERNMENT BENEFITS
  9. LIVE IN OTHER COUNTRIES FOR EXTENDED PERIODS WITHOUT LOSING LEGAL STATUS

BASIC LEGAL REQUIREMENTS FOR NATURALIZATION

To become a naturalized citizen, an applicant must meet basic requirements found in the Immigration and Nationality Act established by Congress, and Code of Federal Regulations. The requirements are that an applicant must:

  • BE AT LEAST 18 YEARS OLD AT TIME OF FILING
  • HAVE GOOD MORAL CHARACTER
  • BE A LAWFUL PERMANENT RESIDENT IN THE U.S. FOR AT LEAST 5 YEARS
  • CAN DEMONSTRATE CONTINUOUS RESIDENCE & PHYSICAL PRESENCE IN THE UNITED STATES FOR 5 YEARS
  • BE ABLE TO PASS A READING, WRITING, & SPEAKING ENGLISH EXAM
  • BE ABLE TO PASS A U.S. HISTORY & GOVERNMENT TEST
  • DEMONSTRATE LOYALTY TO THE PRINCIPLES OF THE U.S. CONSTITUTION
  • TAKE OATH OF LOYALTY TO THE UNITED STATES

PROCESS TO CITIZENSHIP & NATURALIZATION

The process to citizenship is sometimes complex and time-consuming. However, following each step of the process precisely and systematically can help to achieve a satisfying outcome. The general process for naturalizing as a United States citizen includes:

  1. SATISFY INITIAL ELIBILITY REQUIREMENTS FOR NATURALIZATION
  2. GATHER INFORMATION & DOCUMENTATION FOR NATURALIZATION APPLICATION

    a. Filing Fees: Application & Biometric Fees
    b. 2 Passport Photos Meeting Requirements of USCIS
    c. Copy of Permanent Resident Card
    d. Initial Evidence & Necessary Documents

  3. COMPLETE NATURALIZATION APPLICATION FORM (N-400)
  4. SIGN & SUBMIT NATURALIZATION APPLICATION
  5. GET FINGERPRINTS TAKEN
  6. INTERVIEW WITH USCIS OFFICIAL
  7. PASS THE ENGLIGH & CIVICS TEST
  8. OATH OF ALLEGIANCE
  9. RECEIVE U.S. CITIZENSHIP RESULTS

CONSULT A KNOWLEDGEABLE FLORIDA IMMIGRATION ATTORNEY

In order to naturalize or obtain citizenship in the United States, fully understanding the process and careful preparation is required at each step to ensure success. If you or a loved one are considering becoming a U.S. citizen through naturalization, contact an immigration attorney at Atherley Law Firm who can guide you through each step of the process, explaining your rights, providing you with options, and preparing and filing the necessary paperwork according to the guidelines of the USCIS. For a free initial consultation, call us today at (407) 459-7046, contact us online, or schedule your own consultation.

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