US Citizenship Attorney Houston
There are various ways to acquire citizenship in the USA. The main methods are through parents (blood right) and by birth (birthright). In addition, it can be obtained in the order of ordinary naturalization, which is one of the conditions and implies a certain number of years of actual residence in the country.
Being born in the USA gives you the right to citizenship even if your parents have temporary or tourist status. This practice is different from all European countries, where legislation is based primarily on the right to blood.
A child born abroad will be a US citizen if:
- Both of his parents are US citizens at the time of the child’s birth
- At least one of the parents was a resident of the US. This refers to any time before the birth of the child
- A birth certificate abroad, if registered with the American consulate or embassy, is proof of US citizenship. Also, such a citizen may apply for a passport.
Naturalization Attorney Houston
Through naturalization process
A person who is not born as an American citizen can acquire the status of being a citizen through naturalization. In order to become a US citizen by naturalization, you must be at least 18 years old at the time of the application, as well as be permanent resident of the US (have permanent residence in the US for five years, not counting 90 days before the application is submitted). The standard period of naturalization in the US implies living in the country for five years in permanent resident status. Following the immigration process, first, a person receives a temporary residence permit in the US for two years, then permanent residence, finally, after five years in the USA, you can get American citizenship. In some cases, the residency requirement can be reduced. If you are married to a citizen of the US, then instead of the standard five years, you only need to live in the country with permanent resident status for three years. At the same time, the obligatory condition is that the person with whom you are married is not a new citizen, but has held it for at least three years.
Applicants must be physically present in the U.S. 30 months from the last 60 months before the application date. There is one more limitation: you need to be a permanent resident. Applicants, within 60 months prior to the application, should not have periods of absence outside the country exceeding 6 months for each departure. Otherwise, they have no right to naturalize, and must first comply with the specified conditions of residence in the US. We must note that there are exceptions under which it is possible to leave the country for more than 6 months, or even up to 1 year. But these situations are so rare that it makes little sense to consider them.
In addition to the above conditions related to physical presence in the U.S., there are other mandatory conditions. You must not have a criminal record and you must submit a certificate of good conduct from the country of citizenship and previous residence. You also need to pass a test of knowledge of the history of the US. Most applicants are also required to have a working knowledge of English.
To become a US citizen at birth, you must:
- Have been born in the U.S. or certain territories or outlying possessions of the USA, and subject to the jurisdiction;
- had a parent or parents who were citizens at the time of your birth (if you were born abroad) and meet other requirements
To acquire a US citizenship status after birth, you must:
- Apply for “derived” or “acquired” through parents
- Apply for naturalization
- Take the Naturalization Test
Most naturalization applicants are required to take a test on:
- Civics (U.S. history and government)
Dual citizenship in the US
The US recognizes the institution of dual/multiple citizenship, so you can receive it without abandoning the one you already have.
Naturalization can be a complex immigration process that requires a legal advice. Our Houston immigration lawyer can make sure sure you receive the best immigration help and avoid costly mistakes.