DC Immigration Lawyers Helping Clients Achieve Naturalization
Citizenship is acquired in one of two ways: through birth or through naturalization. Even if someone was not born in the United States, that person may nevertheless still be a U.S. citizen depending on whether both, or one, of his/her parents are U.S. citizens and the length of time the U.S. citizen parent lived in the U.S.
The other avenue toward acquiring citizenship is through naturalization with the help of a Virginia immigration lawyer. A permanent resident may apply for naturalization after either three (3) or five (5) years, depending on the manner in which the alien received permanent residency. The permanent resident must also meet certain residency and continuous presence requirements, which your Virginia immigration lawyer can explain in more detail.
At the naturalization interview, the permanent resident must demonstrate the ability to read, write, and speak English. The permanent resident must also pass a civics exam, demonstrating knowledge about American history and government. In certain instances, a permanent resident may apply for a waiver of the English or civics examinations.
To be eligible for naturalization, the permanent resident alien must have been physically present in the U.S. for half of the time of either three or five years prior to filing for naturalization. For example, an alien who obtained permanent residency through employment is most likely eligible for naturalization five years after obtaining a green card. This particular permanent resident must have been physically present in the U.S. for at least 30 of the last 60 months immediately preceding the filing of the application. Additionally, this particular permanent resident must have been continuously present in the U.S. without departing from the U.S. for trips of at least six consecutive months. Leaving the U.S. for 6 months or more at one time will result in the presumption that the permanent resident alien intended to abandon his place of residence in the U.S. Therefore, this presumption must be overcome with the help of a Virginia immigration lawyer.
Males, who were in the United States between the ages of 18-26 in any status other than non-immigrant, must register with the Selective Service. If the individual alien did not do so, an explanatory statement must accompany the naturalization application.