Credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Constitution_Day_Naturalization_Ceremony_(7996948236).jpg
Credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Constitution_Day_Naturalization_Ceremony_(7996948236).jpg
Rosché Immigration Law PLLC
Rosché Immigration Law PLLC

Naturalization

If you are a Lawful Permanent Resident, Green card holder, you may be looking forward to the day when you can become a US citizen and be secure in the fact that you can no longer be deported from the US.  Becoming a citizen also shortens the process of bringing your family members into the country, and allows you to petition for your parents and siblings.  To become a citizen, you will need to go through the naturalization process.

Naturalization: N-400

Applicants for citizenship must meet the following requirements:

  • be 18 years of age or older.
  • be a green card holder and residing in the US for five years, or three years if married to a US citizen, or received your green card under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), or immediately upon receiving your green card if you qualify for expedited naturalization under 319(b), see below.
  • have been physically present in the US for one half of the last five years before filing the petition, or one half of the last three years if married to a US citizen.
  • be able to read, write, and speak English unless eligible for a waiver.
  • be able to pass a civics test of US history and government.
  • be a person of good moral character.

Expedited 319(B) Naturalization for Spouses of Expatriate US Citizens

If you are a Lawful Permanent Resident and are married to a US citizen who is living and working abroad, you may obtain your US citizenship without meeting the residency and time requirements.  Section 319 (b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act creates a process known as “expedited naturalization.”  You can even become a US citizen at the same time you get your lawful permanent residency.

 

In addition to being married to a US citizen, your spouse must be employed by one of these organizations:

  • the US Government.
  • an American research institution recognized by the US Attorney General.
  • an American company (or its subsidiary) engaged in foreign trade or commerce.
  • a public international organization, such as the United Nations.
  • a bona fide US religious denomination.

 

Your spouse’s job assignment abroad must be for at least a year, and you must plan to reside in the US once the assignment ends.

 

Naturalization under 319(b) requires coordination with the US consulate, USCIS, and the FBI. Hiring an attorney ensures that the process goes smoothly, allowing you to avoid multiple expensive and time consuming trips to the US

 

Ms. Rosché has assisted couples overseas receive expedited naturalization under 319(b) both as spouses of US military members, as well as employees of US companies working overseas.  If your US citizen spouse works overseas call today to set up your appointment to discuss expedited naturalization.

Naturalization for the Disabled and Elderly

Although most Lawful Permanent Residents must pass a civics test in English, there are a few exceptions to this rule.  If you are over 50 years old and have been a Lawful Permanent Resident for over 20 years, or over 55 years old and been a Lawful Permanent Resident for over 15 years, you can take the civics test in your native language.  If you are over 65 years old and have been a Lawful Permanent Resident for over 20 years, you are allowed to take the test in your native language and in a much simplified version. 

 

Those who are not old enough, but who are still incapable of taking the civics test even in their native language can apply for a medical disability exception to both the civics test and the English proficiency requirements.  The medical disability exception requires that the applicant’s physician complete a form testifying to the person’s inability to learn. This inability can be due to a variety of reasons such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, dyslexia, or dementia.  If you think you may have difficulty learning US history and civics, contact our office now to see if your condition may qualify for a waiver.

Derivative and Acquired Citizenship: N-600 Or DS-2029

Anyone born in the United States is a US citizen at birth, with very limited exceptions.  For those born outside of the US whose parents are US citizens at the time of their birth or become US citizens later on it is much more complicated to determine whether the person is a US citizen and when they became one.  Gaining US citizenship in these instances is sometimes automatic and doesn’t require any action on the child’s part, leaving people unaware of their status.  Getting the proper documentation of your citizenship is vital to prevent surprises in the future.  Imagine being a US citizen for years and not knowing it, or thinking that you are a US citizen only to find yourself facing removal when the government disagrees with you.

 

If either your parents or grandparents were US citizens at the time of your birth or before you turned 18, we’ll analyze your case to determine whether you are already a US citizen and help you get the appropriate documentation.

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