Citizens of the United States are all people born or naturalized in the United States
Almost all individuals become U.S. citizens in one of two ways:
- By birth within the territory of the United States or to U.S. citizen parents
- By Naturalization
Congress passed the Child Citizenship Act (CCA) in 2000, which permits any child under the age of 18 who is adopted by a U.S. citizen and immigrates to the United States to acquire immediate citizenship.
At Birth for Children Born Outside the U.S. and its Territories
A child born outside the U.S. may be a U.S. citizen if one parent or both parents were U.S. citizens at the time of his/her birth and other requirements are met.
A child born in a different country may likewise obtain it after birth if one of his or her parents becomes a U.S. citizen before his or her eighteenth birthday celebration.
U.S. lawful permanent residents (LPRs) (green card holders) may file form n-400, naturalization application to become U.S. citizens. If the permanent resident has been married to a U.S. citizen for three years, they can file citizenship application three years after obtaining LPR status. If not, most of the time the green card holder has to wait to file naturalization form n-400 documents until five years after obtaining LPR status. (Most applicants can apply ninety days before their three or five year anniversary.)
To receive citizenship permanent residents have to show they have “good moral character” and have been physically present in the U.S. for no less than 2 1/2 years since acquiring LPR status (or 1 1/2 years if applying as the spouse of a U.S. citizen). Moreover, to start your application most petitioners for citizenship will have to pass tests showing an ability to read, write, and speak no less than 4th grade-level English and demonstrate fundamental comprehension of U.S. history and civics.
If the individual has been in contact with the police, regardless of whether in or outside of the U.S., he or she should seek the expertise of immigration lawyers before applying for naturalization. Traffic citations, criminal convictions, and/or arrests for criminal activity can have severe and negative results on a person’s immigration status. Sometimes an individual may apply to become a U.S. citizen just to discover that immigration wants to deport them from the U.S. because of some past criminal conduct.
Through Military Service
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS office) will facilitate the procedure of naturalization for certain LPRs (green cards holders) who are now serving in the U.S. armed forced or who were recently discharged. The individual must still be eligible for naturalization through USCIS.
Immigration lawyers Houston at our law firm will guide you through the process every step of the way. Our Houston immigration lawyers will help you apply for citizenship, prepare you to the test, and help you go through the interview with no issues. Our lawyers also help with applications for non immigrant visas.