Naturalization

Becoming a US Citizen.

Citizenship brings many new rights, such as the right to vote, run for office, and petition for your spouse, parents, and children without the long wait associated with visa quotas.

We will work with you to determine your eligibility for U.S. citizenship, evaluate the best path to naturalization, and guide you through the immigration process from beginning to end, including the petition for your first visa all the way to through to end: the application for citizenship and ultimately, the interview for citizenship. 

After many immigration and citizenship interviews, we have the experience to prepare you for every step of the immigration process, all the way through to the citizenship interview.

The interview for Citizenship includes an English test, and a US civics test. The English exam tests your reading, writing, and speaking competency. The civics exam tests your basic understanding of how the U.S government works. We will help you prepare for both these exams. 

In some cases, based on age or medical conditions, you may be eligible for a waiver of either the English or Civics tests. If you are eligible, we will help you with the waiver. If you have military service, you may also qualify for expedited naturalization in a year or less.


General Requirements

Have Lawful Permanent Resident status for 5 years prior to applying for Citizenship. 
    (3 years if married to and living with a US citizen)

Be a person of Good Moral Character--which usually means no arrests for the 5 years prior to filing.

Have Continuous Presence in the United States for the 5 year period prior to filing (no trips greater than 6 months)

Have at least 90 days presence in the district (state) you apply in prior to filing your application (i.e. no travel 3 months before filing).  See the N-400 Travel Limits article for further explanation.



Maintaining Your "Green Card" and Permanent Residence Status

To avoid any delay in processing of your citizenship application, you must present your valid Green Card at your Citizenship interview. Applying for Citizenship does NOT give any kind of extension to your Green Card. If your Green Card is due to expire within a year or less, you should give consideration to renewing the Green Card in addition to applying for Citizenship. Citizenship applications may take several months to process, and any delay in the application could leave you without a valid Green Card. Also, if you have lost your Green Card, you must apply to have it replaced, and you should do this prior to applying for Citizenship. 


Travel

Travel before you apply has limitations. See the N-400 Travel Limits article for further explanation.

Travel after you apply is allowed, as long as your passport and Green Card are current and valid. There is, however, a risk of missing either your biometrics appointment or your interview appointment if you travel.