If you meet certain requirements, you may become a U.S. citizen either at birth or after birth.
Generally, people are born U.S. citizens if they are born in the United States or if they are born abroad to U.S. citizens. You may also derive U.S. citizenship as a minor following the naturalization of one or both parents. If you have a U.S. citizen parent who is a U.S. citizen by either birth or naturalization you may already be a citizen or may be able to apply for a Certificate of Citizenship based on their citizenship. Call our office so one of our experienced attorneys can better determine how U.S immigration law applies to your particular circumstances.
In most cases, a person who wants to naturalize must first be a permanent resident. To be eligible for naturalization, you must first meet certain requirements set by U.S. law.
Generally, to be eligible for naturalization you must:
1. Be age 18 or older
2. Be a permanent resident for a certain amount of time (usually 5 years or 3 years if you are married to a U.S. citizen)
3. Be a person of good moral character, usually meaning the absence of a serious criminal record
4. Have a basic knowledge of U.S. government (this can be excepted due to permanent physical or mental impairment)
5. Have a period of continuous residence and physical presence in the United States
6. Be able to read, write, and speak basic English. There are exceptions to this rule for someone who at the time of filing: - Is 55 years old and has been a permanent resident for at least 15 years; or - Is 50 years old and has been a permanent resident for at least 20 years; or - Has a permanent physical or mental impairment that makes the individual unable to fulfill these requirements
To become a naturalized U.S. citizen, you must pass the naturalization test. At your naturalization interview, you will be required to answer questions about your application and background. You will also take an English and civics test unless you qualify for an exemption or waiver.
You will be given two opportunities to take the English and civics tests and to answer all questions relating to your naturalization application in English. If you fail any of the tests at your initial interview, you will be retested on the portion of the test that you failed (English or civics) between 60 and 90 days from the date of your initial interview.
“I received a letter just before I left office from a man. I don’t know why he chose to write it, but I’m glad he did. He wrote that you can go to live in France, but you can’t become a Frenchman. You can go to live in Germany or Italy, but you can’t become a German, an Italian. He went through Turkey, Greece, Japan and other countries. But he said anyone, from any corner of the world, can come to live in the United States and become an American.”
Our attorneys have first-hand experience with the immigration and naturalization process. Contact us today at
HARTFORD LEGAL GROUP