U.S. Citizenship – Common Paths To Obtain It
You want a new life and you’re tired of dealing with your native country’s restrictions. It’s time to start your new life, but where do you begin? Obtaining U.S. citizenship can be quite a lengthy process, but it may be much quicker for you than you think. Good news! You have several options.
Obtaining citizenship in the United States is one of the most meaningful events you can experience. The process is not an easy one, however, and it has its pitfalls that often discourage even the most passionate citizenship seekers. But if you’re ready to find out the different pathways to becoming a U.S. citizen, keep reading.
While some people have to simply wait for approval of their application, others have to go through a more rigorous process. The reason behind this difference is that there are several different paths to becoming a citizen of the United States.
The information contained in this guide will help you gather your documents and navigate the application process. This can be a long and complicated road, but this guide will make your journey much easier.
There are two main ways that a person can become a citizen.
- By birth.
- By naturalization.
Become A U.S. Citizen
If you’ve spent any amount of time in the U.S., you’ve probably dreamed at one point or another of becoming a U.S. citizen. It’s understandable—the country is a place that some people dream of living in, after all.
Becoming a U.S. citizen can be a difficult but rewarding process, and it’s much easier if you start on the right path from day one of your life in the U.S. The key to success is ensuring that you understand all of your options and get started on the application process as soon as possible. If you do, there’s no telling what you can achieve.
Citizenship By Birth
If you were born in America, then you’re already a U.S. citizen by birth. If you are born in one of these particular areas, you automatically become a citizen. The territories and outlying possessions include American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and U.S. Virgin Islands.
In the event that one or both of your parents were U.S. citizens at the time of your birth, even if you were born outside of these places, you might still be eligible for U.S. citizenship.
If both of your parents were born in the United States and at least one of them had resided in the country before passing away, then you qualify for citizenship by birth as well.
If your natural parents became citizens before you were 18, you can already be a citizen without having to apply for naturalization. Additionally, if you have been adopted by American parents before turning 18, you are already regarded as a citizen of the United States.
If you do not belong to any of these qualifications, you can still be a U.S. citizen through naturalization. A skilled immigration attorney can assist you in applying for U.S. citizenship through naturalization.
Citizenship By Naturalization
If you want to become a U.S. citizen and make America your home, U.S. Citizenship by Naturalization is for you. To become a U.S. citizen by naturalization, you must meet the following general requirements:
- At least 18 years old.
- Permanent Resident or Green Card holder for at least 5 years before applying for citizenship.
- Have been physically present in the U.S. for a minimum of 30 months during the last five years prior to filing for naturalization.
Naturalization is a way by which a foreign national becomes a United States citizen. It’s a long, complicated process that requires you to fulfill a number of requirements, but it’s well worth it.
Let’s look at some of the common ways to get it in the U.S.
Child Of A U.S. Citizen
You are a U.S. Citizen by virtue of your parentage. It means you have a right to all of the privileges that a citizen affords.
Citizenship may be acquired at birth or before reaching the age of 18 through a U.S. citizen parent. Congress has passed legislation that specifies how citizenship is passed from a parent or parents who are citizens of the United States to children who were born abroad.
Married To A U.S. Citizen
Once you’re married to a U.S. citizen, you can start the process of applying for citizenship. You may start by filling out an N-400 form. You will need to provide proof that you have been living together with your spouse for at least three years before filing your application, such as copies of rent receipts, utility bills, vehicle registrations, or other documents showing joint residency.
Legal service providers can make sure that you have all of the information you need about naturalization requirements. This process can be accomplished with the help of an immigration attorney. They will guide you through the necessary steps to gain your citizenship.
Serving In The U.S. Military
There are provisions under specific sections in the Immigration and National Act for individuals who are working or have enlisted in the U.S. armed forces. If they are interested in obtaining U.S. citizenship, they may be qualified to file for naturalization (INA).
The INA contains many provisions that provide special benefits to members of the U.S. armed forces and their families. For example, active duty service members are eligible for expedited citizenship during their first year of honorable discharge from active duty service, as long as they meet certain other requirements.
LPR For 5 Years
A person who was not born in the U.S. can voluntarily become a citizen by going through the naturalization process. Being a legitimate permanent resident for five years is another typical route to obtaining citizenship through naturalization.
If you have been living in the United States for five years, you become a lawful permanent resident for a while now, and you’re ready to begin applying to become a U.S. citizen.
The most common path used by immigrants is the naturalization process. This involves filling out paperwork and submitting it to the USCIS. An immigration officer will review your application and decide whether or not you’re eligible for it. If you’re approved, you’ll need to take an oath of allegiance before an immigration judge. After that, you will attend a naturalization ceremony where you’ll receive your certificate of citizenship.
Other U.S. Citizenship Pathways
Aside from the most common methods, there are other options people find themselves eligible for. These include immediate relatives, family members of a citizen, employment, permanent residency, and refugee/asylum status.
You can become a citizen of the United States by naturalization. You just need to meet some basic requirements, pay some fees, and go through an interview with an immigration officer. Once you’ve done that, you’ll get your citizenship certificate and be able to enjoy all the perks of being an American.
Before you begin your application for naturalization or the N-400 form, take a few minutes to find out if you’re eligible to apply for citizenship. An immigration lawyer in Fort Worth TX can walk you through determining your application eligibility.
Naturalization may be a complicated process. If you are not familiar with the procedure, it can be challenging to navigate on your own. That’s why skilled lawyers are here to guide you with your naturalization needs. With their help, you can make sure that everything goes smoothly, and that you have the best chance at becoming a U.S. citizen.
Legal Help On Citizenship Options
There are many potential routes to getting citizenship and it is a good idea to consider several different approaches. You can become a citizen through one of the options listed here, but it is important to understand all aspects of the laws regarding naturalization in order to avoid making a mistake that could limit or delay your ability to get it.
The United States is a country open to immigrants. Every day, people from all over the world run into different issues of finding an affordable and trustworthy way to obtain citizenship in the U.S.
Immigration laws are constantly changing, and the best way to stay on top of them is to consult with an attorney who is well-versed in the field. The information presented above is a great resource, but you may have questions that were not answered.
If this is the case, it would be in your best interest to consult with a qualified attorney who can fully address your questions and help you make more informed decisions in your journey to becoming a U.S. citizen.
At The Medlin Law Firm, they offer help with your immigration case. With that, they provide personal support and guidance on different citizenship methods. You can have a full range of options for individuals and their families that are applicable to you.