Applying for U.S citizenship is the final step in the U.S. immigration process. The eligibility criteria to become a naturalized U.S. citizen are straightforward. In general, a person has to be oever 18 years of age, a legal permanent resident of the United States for five years, have a good working knowledge of English, and pass the citizenship knowledge exam. An applicant must also be of good moral character.
As is the case in many legal matters, there are many exceptions to the rules. For example, an alien who marries a U.S. citizen is eligible to apply for citizenship after holding permanent resident status and remaining married to the U.S. citizen spouse for three years. Also, certain requirements, such as the language and knowledge requirements, may be waived for long-term older residents and those that suffer from physical or mental disabilities.
Benefits of U.S. Citizenship
Citizens enjoy certain rights that are not accorded to aliens residing in the U.S. The most important right accorded to U.S. citizens is access to the political process, both in terms of voting rights and the ability to run for and hold most political offices. Certain government jobs are only available restricted to U.S. citizens, including serving as a commissioned officer in the U.S. armed forces. As a citizen, you are not required to maintain any sort of contact with the U.S. Customs and Immigration Service, as is required for aliens.
Other Paths To Citizenship
Naturalization can be a long and difficult process. U.S. law provides other paths to citizenship for some individuals. In fact, some people may be entitled to citizenship via a family relationship (such as a parent or grandparent) and not even know it.
If you believe that you may be eligible for citizenship, or you are ready to take the last step in the immigration process, Call us today at 407-822-4222. You can also email us at any time.