NATURALIZATION AND CITIZENSHIP

Naturalization is the process when individuals who were not born in the United States or one of its territories becomes United States citizen.

Top three things that you should know about naturalization:

  1. Naturalization has age and residence requirements

You must be at least 18 years old to apply for naturalization. It is also necessary for you to have been a permanent resident in the country for at least five years. Applicants who are married to a United States citizen may be able to file for naturalization in three years if they received a green card through marriage and are still married to the same person. In both cases, requesters must meet all eligibility requirements. It is best to seek the assistance of an immigration lawyer.

  1. Eligibility requirements include both continuous and physical residence

For Continuous residence, applicants must prove home arrangements that date back to at least five years of having established living quarters in the United States.

For Physical residence, you must prove that you have consistently stayed in the country before naturalization is considered. You stand to forfeit some of your physical residence time if you leave the country for an extended period.

  1. There is an interview that evaluates good moral character

USCIS conducts interviews of prospective naturalized citizens to determine if such individuals are ideal fits. Good moral character is a significant factor in their decision-making process.

You may be denied if you lie during the interview as the USCIS deems such an act one of poor character.

Prior convictions for murder, burglary, and other serious crimes may also be considered disqualifying factors.

There is no need to submit a full N-400 application for naturalization as submitted by people who received a status of a permanent resident when adults. Form N-600 can also be submitted if a person was born overseas, had one or both parents who were American citizens, but did not have their overseas birth properly registered before becoming 18 years old.

Form N-600

This form must be completed to obtain a Certificate of Citizenship. Once this is completed and approved, it will serve as evidence of a person being a citizen of the United States. A parent or legal guardian may complete Form N-600 on behalf of a minor child.

Denial

If a person receives a denial to the Form N-600, it means the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has determined they do not have a valid claim for U.S. citizenship. If this person provides any subsequent applications, they will not be accepted. In this situation, a person needs to speak with an immigration attorney.

One Chance

There is only one chance to fill Form N-600 correctly. This form must be filed within 30 days of the date of the denial decision by the USCIS.

Divorce

A divorce between a person’s parents should not affect their application for a Certificate of Citizenship. This is a concern if one parent is a U.S. citizen and the other is not.

(If a person acquires U.S. citizenship before their parent’s divorce, it is not a problem.)

Once a person’s Form N-600 is approved, they will be issued a Certificate of Citizenship.

If this person is over the age of 14, they will need to go to a USCIS office and take the Oath of Allegiance.

This may not be required if the individual is less than 14 years old.