Naturalization

Who Can apply?
Anybody who received their green card through employment or asylum and has lived continuously in the US for the past 5 years, or received their green card through marriage to an US Citizen, and is still married, and lived continuously in the US for the past 3 years can apply. Usually one can apply three months BEFORE the 5 or 3 years are over.

The applicant must be over the age of 18. If when you were under 18 when at least one of your parent is an US Citizen, then you become a citizen by operation of law. One can file, (but it is not necessary to) for a Certificate of Citizenship, N-600.

The basic for for Citizenship is N-400

REQUIREMENTS

CONTINOUS RESIDENCE
One must have lived in the US legally after obtaining the green card, for the period of time before filing the application mentioned above. The applicant must also have resided in the particular state for 3 months prior to filing from that state. Any absence of over six months are presumed to have broken the continuity. However, the presumption can be rebutted by proving that a person’s absence was not by her own choosing, and she had sufficient nexus to the US so as not to abandon her permanent residency. Absence of more than one year will break the continuity unless the person obtains a returning resident permit.

Usually if a person has been living continuously in the US and is then deployed by an US company to their overseas office, can preserve their residence for naturalization purposes

2. PHYSICAL PRESENCE
The person must have been physically present in the US for 30 months. This need not be continuous.

3. GOOD MORAL CHARACTER
One has to establish “good moral character” before obtaining citizenship.

If you’ve committed a felony, you will not get the citizenship

If you’ve committed a minor misdemeanor, only once, a long time ago (for instance 5 years), then United States Citizenship and Immigration Service may grant citizenship, at their discretion, on a case by case basis. Multiple misdemeanors may be a bar.

It is a problem if you’ve Not paid child support; lied to a government agency, etc. even if there is no criminal record.

Traffic tickets are not a problem even though DWI is a problem.

4. KNOWLEDGE OF HISTORY AND CIVICS
Applicants must pass an English and Civics test. The current test has 100 questions

EXCEPTIONS:
One does not need to sit the test if:

  1. If you have been a Permanent Resident (green card holder) for over 20 years and are over 65 years of age you have to answer the civics portion, but not the English questions. Under the new test, you have to memorize just 25 questions in any language you choose.
  2. Medically unable to take the test- has documented diseases like dementia or Alzheimer’s.No tests whatsoever under this exception.

5. ATTACHMENTS TO THE PRINCIPLES OF US CONSTITUTION AND SWEAR OATH OF ALLEGIANCE TO THE UNITED STATES

Questions are asked in the form and during the interview to ascertain that the applicant will adhere to the Constitution.

Helpful links:

Naturalization Questions

Sample Naturalization Interview

General Naturalization Information