Become a Naturalized Citizen
Do you want to become a naturalized citizen? We are here to help you navigate this process. Give this a read and then call us so we can guide you through this whole process.
In the United States, there are multiple ways to become a permanent resident of the country. Your options are:
Green card — If you obtain a green card, you can live and work in the United States and will be on the path to becoming a citizen. Although a green card is the precursor to becoming a permanent resident of the United States, certain restrictions are placed on you, such as the inability to vote and the threat of deportation if you are convicted of certain crimes. Some green cards last ten years, but conditional green cards last only two, and carry additional requirements.
Certificate of Naturalization — After you have your green card for five years — or three if you are married to a U.S. citizen — you can apply for a Certificate of Naturalization. Our firm assists you with the applications and the interviews that follow to make the process go smoothly. Unlike a green card, naturalized residents are afforded the right to vote and cannot be deported for a crime.
Certificate of Citizenship — A Certificate of Citizenship is given to children under the age of 18 born abroad but have parents who are U.S. citizens. Our firm obtains the proper forms and documentation for you to get your Certificate of Citizenship, which will allow you to live permanently in the United States.
Amnesty — Amnesty allows people who entered the United States illegally to have their status adjusted so they can be on the path to citizenship. If you entered the country without inspection before 2001, you may be eligible for an amnesty exception. We determine if you meet the guidelines and help you toward permanent residency.
A Lawful Permanent Resident (“green card holder”) could remain a green card holder, or petition to become an American citizen. To become eligible to apply for citizenship, you must be at least 18 years old, you must have been a Lawful Permanent Resident for five years (or three if you are married to a U.S. citizen), without any significant absences (6 months or more). Additionally, you must satisfy the following:
- Evidence of good moral character.
- Establish knowledge of U.S. history and government.
- Demonstrate the ability to read and write basic English.
- Establish knowledge of and attachment to the U.S. Constitution.
When a client has an initial consultation, the attorney should gather as much information as possible in order to set forth realistic expectations. Before proceeding with a naturalization application, it is important to know if a client has been subject to any past legal problems, such as an arrest, taxation issues, or a period when the person fell out of status. An attorney can accompany the applicant to the naturalization interview, which is especially helpful if English is not a client’s strongest language. If a client cannot speak English at all, a New Jersey Naturalization Lawyer may be able to file a medical exception. If you have had a green card for 20 years and are at least 50 years old, or 15 years and are at least 55 years old, you will still have to pass the history and civics part of the citizenship test, but can take the test in your native language. A mental or physical disability might also be grounds for an exemption.
If you would like to become a naturalized citizen, please call us right away and we will help you get started.