Permanent residents (“green card” holders) with at least five years of continuous residence are eligible to apply for United States citizenship. Once U.S. citizens, they are entitled to the same rights as all other U.S. citizens, including filing for family.
The Naturalization Process
The naturalization application process requires continuous residence in the United States, sufficient time physically present in the United States, good moral character, and knowledge of U.S. history and government. Each request for naturalization must include a detailed application describing the applicant’s background and eligibility. To qualify for citizenship, a permanent resident must undergo a rigorous background check and interview process.
Individuals who are married to U.S. citizens are eligible for U.S. citizenship after only three years as a permanent resident instead of five. This residence requirement is waived entirely when the U.S. citizen spouse is compelled to live outside the country by work or government assignment. Taking advantage of these expedited naturalization programs often requires the assistance of counsel to navigate complex USCIS regulations.
Proof of Citizenship
Certain individuals born outside the United States may qualify as U.S. citizens through their parents or grandparents who are citizens by birth or naturalization or may become citizens automatically upon the naturalization of a parent. Obtaining proof of citizenship is essential to these individuals when applying for government or some private benefits. The United States government offers several options for obtaining proof of citizenship documents including certificates of citizenship and U.S. passports.
Greenberg Visa Law has a comprehensive background in all U.S. nationality law and naturalization matters, including extensive work in naturalization hearings, expedited naturalization for spouses of U.S. citizens and obtaining proof of automatically granted U.S. citizenship. Contact us today for a consultation with an experienced naturalization lawyer.