How to become a United States citizen?

There are a number of ways by which a person can become a United States citizen. A person becomes a citizen when

  • They are born inside the United States or one of its territories.
  • Their parents are both United States citizens at the time of their birth.
  • They apply for and become a United States citizen through the process of naturalization.
  • Both of their parents are naturalized when they are still a minor child.
  • The naturalization process
The process by which a person applies for United States citizenship is called naturalization. In most cases, people who enter the naturalization process are green card holders who have lived in the United States for many years. To apply for citizenship, a person must have lived in the United States as a legal permanent resident for at least five years, and have been physically present here for at least half of that time. The person must be at least 18 years of age, and must demonstrate evidence of good moral character. A person who made another country their permanent home during their time of residence in the United States is not eligible for citizenship. The appropriate forms for citizenship vary according to the applicant’s situation. An immigration lawyer can determine which forms are right for you. After submitting the forms, a copy of your green card, photograph and fees, the applicant will be scheduled for an interview with the BCIS. Unless the person qualifies for an exception, the interview will be conducted in English. Note: it is usually several months after filing that the applicant is scheduled for an interview with the BCIS.

Avoid Green Card Problems

After an immigrant obtains a permanent resident green card, the green card can be revoked for any number of actual or perceived criminal or immigration violations.  Typically, the permanent resident is not notified that they have placed their green card in jeopardy. Instead, they first become aware of their deportability only after submitting fingerprints for a replacement green card (I-90), removal of conditions (I-751) or citizenship. But, by then it is too late. Once labeled by USCIS as being in violation of immigration laws, the permanent resident will be placed in removal proceedings and could be deported. The only way to avoid such a situation is to have never applied for the benefit in the first place. Upon retaining a lawyer, you will be interviewed extensively about your activities since obtaining your green card in order to avoid having you waste money on a losing citizenship application due to moral character issues or putting your immigration status in jeopardy due to criminal or immigration violations. If your situation makes the application process more complicated, but not necessarily impossible, The Law Offices of Tuan A. Khuu can help prepare the evidence or legal arguments necessary to help you win your case.