U.S. Citizenship & Naturalization Services
Simplify Your Path to U.S. Citizenship
Navigating the U.S. naturalization process can be complex. We specialize in making it easier for you, from filling out the N-400 application to preparing for the citizenship interview. Don’t go it alone—Contact us today for expert guidance on your journey to becoming an American citizen.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
U.S. citizenship is the legal status of being a citizen of the United States of America. Citizenship confers a range of rights, privileges, and responsibilities, including the right to vote in federal elections, the ability to hold public office, and the obligation to serve on juries and pay taxes. U.S. citizenship can be acquired by birth within the United States or its territories, by birth abroad to U.S. citizen parents, or through the process of naturalization for those who are not citizens by birth. Once acquired, U.S. citizenship is permanent and cannot be easily revoked, offering a level of security and belonging that other forms of immigration status do not provide.
Naturalization is the legal process through which immigrants to become U.S. citizens. To be eligible, you usually need to have a green card and live in the U.S. for 3 to 5 years. Some people in the military may also qualify. Through this process, you can enjoy all the rights and responsibilities of being an American citizen.
Form N-400 is officially known as the “Application for Naturalization,“; it is a form issued by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and used by green card holders (permanent residents) who wish to apply for U.S. citizenship. Filing this form with the USCIS is the first step in the naturalization process, which ultimately leads to becoming a U.S. citizen. The form asks for various details, including your personal information, immigration history, and background, to assess your eligibility for citizenship. Once submitted, you may be required to attend an interview and pass a citizenship test as part of the naturalization process.
To become a U.S. citizen through naturalization, you must meet specific eligibility criteria. These criteria vary depending on your situation, such as whether you’re married to a U.S. citizen or have served in the military. Here are the general guidelines:
- Green Card Holder: Must have had a green card for at least 5 years and lived in the U.S. for at least 2.5 years of that time.
- Married to a U.S. Citizen: Must have had a green card for at least 3 years and lived in the U.S. for at least 1.5 years of that time. The U.S. citizen spouse must also have been a citizen for at least 3 years.
- Military Service: Special rules apply, including the possibility of immediate eligibility for those who have served during wartime.
- Age: Must be at least 18 years old.
- Good Moral Character: Must not have committed certain crimes and must pass a background check.
- Language and Civics Tests: Must pass English and U.S. civics tests, unless eligible for an exception based on age or disability.
Understanding these criteria is crucial for a successful naturalization process. You do not need to tread this path alone and face potential denial or rejection by the USCIS of your N-400 application. The Law Offices of Connie Kaplan can help; schedule a consultation today!
Yes, there are exceptions to the eligibility criteria for naturalization, often based on age, disability, or military service. Here are some of the key exceptions:
- Age and Residency: Applicants aged 50 and older who have lived in the U.S. as green card holders for at least 20 years, or those aged 55 and older with at least 15 years of residency, may be exempt from the English language test but still must take the civics test.
- Disability: Individuals with a physical or developmental disability or mental impairment may be exempt from both the English and civics tests. A medical certification (Form N-648) is required.
- Military Service: Those who have served in the U.S. military may be eligible for
- Fee Waiver: If you can’t afford the filing fee, you may apply for a fee reduction or waiver based on income.
expedited or exception-based naturalization. For example, individuals who have served during wartime may be eligible for naturalization without meeting the usual residency or physical presence requirements.
Understanding these exceptions can be crucial for those who might find it challenging to meet the standard requirements for naturalization. You do not need to tread this path alone and face potential denial or rejection by the USCIS of your N-400 application. The Law Offices of Connie Kaplan can help; contact us today!