US citizenship provides many rights and benefits of becoming US citizen. While a green card provides only the privileges to reside and work in the United States. A US citizen can sponsor siblings to immigrate, has the right to vote, reside in the USA and abroad, without losing the right to return, apply for any type of employment, apply for financial aids, grants, loans, and health benefits. So many immigrants try to become a US citizen, but it’s not easy to obtain without an experienced immigration attorney.
Green Card holders or permanent residents can become a U.S. citizen through naturalization. However, certain criteria need to be met to establish eligibility:
- You have to make sure you have stayed in the U.S. continuously for the last 5 years and have not left the country for more than 6 months at a time. Along with continuous residence, you also need to make sure that you were physically present in the U.S for half of the five years.
- You need to have resided in the state for at least 3 months where you wish to seek to file the naturalization application.
- You must be over the age of 18 years and be able to read, write, and speak English.
- You are a person of good moral character.
The process of applying for US citizenship is also known as naturalization. Following you application, you will be scheduled for following you application, you will be scheduled for an interview which can get quite nerve wracking. For the above eligibility list, please not it is non-exhaustive and persons seeking to naturalize based on their marriage to a U.S citizen only need to wait 3 years before they can apply for naturalization. Usually, the US citizenship process takes approximately 16-18 months.
Steps to Naturalization
- Make sure you send a correctly filled naturalization (Form N-400 ) application to the correct office with the appropriate filing fees.
- You will then be required to go for fingerprinting and photographs. Most of the applicants feel nervous and anxious during the U.S citizenship interview.
- You will have an interview scheduled where the officer will check your knowledge of the English language as well as your knowledge of US history and civics. Good moral character is valued. Tell the truth during interview to pass the US citizenship test.
- After the interview, you will either receive a notice saying you have been invited to a swearing-in ceremony or sent a denial letter. Eventually attend a ceremony and take the oath to become a US citizen.
State issued identification, Permanent resident Card, other legal documentations are important documents to apply for a US citizenship. If you have your family members as an immediate relative, you have high possibilities to obtain a US citizenship through parents. While most of the people applying the US citizenship through the process of Naturalization.
Common Issues Why Your Application May be Denied
You must have also noted that one of the requirements to become a U.S. citizen is that you possess a good moral character. It is difficult to define concretely establish what constitutes a bad moral character, but arrests, failure to pay taxes, and other similar actions can cause concern. Similarly, not maintaining your legal permanent status can also cause issues. For instance, you may have stayed abroad for long period of time which can jeopardize your LPR status. Nonetheless, an experienced immigration attorney can help you fight out any issue that may arise and potentially come up with a solution or guide you in the right direction so that you will eventually qualify for a citizenship.
Benefits of Becoming a Citizen
- As a citizen, you will be entitled to all the rights that are afforded to any other U.S. Citizen. Not only will you be able to vote but you can also run for office.
- You other family members like your spouse, married children, siblings will also experience the benefits of your citizenship as you can keep your family together by petitioning for them.
- It’s possible to be a citizen of more than one country called dual citizenship given both countries allow such arrangement.
- U.S Citizens cannot be deported from the USA. They can travel anywhere in the world without fear of jeopardizing LPR status and restrictions.
Why you Choosing Gehi & Associates for US citizenship?
Most people think naturalization is a simple process but unfortunately, paper work can begin to bog you down. Simple mistakes that would have easily been caught by an experienced immigration attorney might lead to denial of your application. Hence, you should seek the help of an immigration attorney. At Gehi & Associates, we have resolved complex naturalization process and helped our clients gain their citizenship. Initial consultation is free so please don’t hesitate to come see us!