Qualifying for Naturalization
Naturalization is the process by which an immigrant becomes a citizen of the United States. Citizens have many privileges and rights that green card holders or permanent residents do not have. For example, when you are a citizen, you may vote in elections and travel abroad. As a U.S. citizen, you never have to worry about being deported or denied entry to the United States.
To become a citizen, you need to meet all required criteria set forth by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). In addition, you need to successfully complete all steps in the naturalization process. A Baltimore naturalization lawyer can evaluate your situation to determine if you are eligible and can guide you through every step you need to take to achieve your dream of becoming a U.S. citizen.
Requirements to Qualify for Naturalization
To qualify for naturalization:
- 18 years old. You must be at least 18 years old. When applying for citizenship for children under age 18, parents need to use a different process and submit Form N-600 (Application for Certificate of Citizenship) or Form N-600K (Application for Citizenship and Issuance of a Certificate Under Section 322). A Baltimore naturalization lawyer can complete these forms for parents.
- Permanent resident. You must have been a permanent resident for between three and five years with limited or no trips abroad. Someone who is married to a U.S. citizen must have been a permanent resident for three years while other applicants for naturalization must have had a green card for five years. Individuals who completed active duty military service during certain wars or after September 11, 2001 may also qualify for naturalization without being permanent residents.
- Continuous residence. You must have maintained a continuous residence in the United States for a sufficient period of time. The specifics of this time requirement vary depending upon what criteria you use to qualify for naturalization and how long you have been a permanent resident.
- Good moral character. You must be a person of “good moral character.” USCIS will consider any criminal record you may have as well as whether you tell the truth on your naturalization application and during your interview. A Baltimore naturalization lawyer will help you prepare for your interview so you make the right impression and do not jeopardize your citizenship goals.
- Knowledge of English language and U.S. history. You must demonstrate that you know English and that you understand the fundamentals of U.S. history and governance. Knowing English includes being able to read, write and speak words that are used as part of ordinary everyday life. There are limited exceptions to this requirement for seniors who have been permanent residents for a long period of time.
- Allegiance to the U.S. You must be willing to support and defend the United States and the country’s constitution. You prove this by taking an Oath of Allegiance.
These are just some of the many requirements associated with the naturalization process. A Baltimore naturalization lawyer will advise you of all that you need to do in order to become a U.S. citizen and will help you to ensure you have met the criteria.
Contact a Baltimore Naturalization Lawyer Today
Do not hesitate to pursue your dreams of becoming a permanent U.S. citizen. Call Miranda & Weisman, LLC today at 410-321-4994 to speak with a Baltimore naturalization lawyer and learn about how we can work on your behalf to help you become a citizen of this country. You can also complete our online contact form.