Citizenship & Naturalization

US Citizenship is the ultimate goal of most of my clients.  If you are a green card holder hoping to become an American citizen, you should know that your green card CAN BE TAKEN AWAY. This happens for various reasons, including criminal convictions. Your green card can also be taken if you leave the United States with the intention of abandoning your status. Traveling for vacation doesn’t fall into this category, but leaving the United States for more than six months can jeopardize your status.

 

Green Cards & Marriage

If you obtained a green card via marriage, there are other legalities to keep in mind. If you are still married, you can apply for citizenship after three years if you have continuously resided with your spouse the whole time, but you must have spent at least half of that time in the United States. If you are no longer married to, or living with your former spouse, you will have to wait for five years before applying for citizenship.

 

Automatic Citizenship

Finally, I occasionally run across a client who is already a U.S. citizen but doesn’t know it! The easy case is the child that is born here. The U.S. Constitution automatically grants them citizenship. However, if your mother is an American citizen, and she lived in the United States for six months before your birth, you are a U.S. Citizen no matter where you are born. This can also be conveyed through a father and/or a grandparent, but that is much less common and more difficult.

These factors, and others, should be taken into consideration before you apply for citizenship. It is a good idea to consult with an experienced immigration attorney before you decide to ask USCIS to take a fresh look at your status, just in case you unknowingly violated residency regulations. At TNT Law, our lawyers help you decide if this is a good time to apply, and open the door to citizenship.

TNT Law. Opening the Door for You