Becoming a United States citizen is one of the greatest honors a person may have in a life time. How do we know? Our very own founder became a naturalized citizen in 2007. He also became an immigration attorney here in Spokane. Since then, we fell in love with this process, and thus, we want to help you and/or your family member become a citizen of this great nation.
Who may become a citizen of the United States?
A legal permanent resident, who shows good moral character, and is eligible to apply for citizenship may apply for United States citizenship. It is important to note that the application must be a legal permanent resident. In other words, there isn’t a legal process in which a non-legal permanent resident may apply for citizenship. A person must first become a legal permanent resident, and then, subsequently apply for citizenship.
What are other requirements to be eligible to become a naturalized citizen of the United States?
An applicant for citizenship must show Good Moral Character for the Required Period.
Good moral character is a legal term. In short, it means that the applicant has not committed any violation that would render him or her inadmissible or deportable, or otherwise ineligible to become a citizen of the United States.
The required period is different based on how the applicant became a legal permanent resident. If the residency was acquired by marriage to a United States citizen, then the applicant must wait 36 months before he or she can become a citizen. If the applicant became a legal permanent resident by means other than marriage or he or she is a derivative of a marriage petition, then the required period is 60 months (5 years). For example, Maria and her son Jorge became legal permanent residents when Bill (a United States Citizen) applied for both of them. Maria must wait 36 months before she can apply for citizenship. Jorge must wait 5 years before he can apply for citizenship.
Residency Requirements of United States Citizenship
An applicant must show that he or she resided in the United States for at five years prior to the application (in case of an applicant by marriage, only three years). It must be shown that at no point the residency was abandoned.
The legal permanent resident must not leave the united states for more than 180 days (six months) without a special permit or residency may be abandoned. It is important to note that only trips outside of the United States for more than 24 hours count. We recommend you consult with our office before applying for citizenship if you have questions regarding residency requirements. Other requirements regarding residency apply.
Selective Service Requirements
A male between the ages of 18 and 26 years old must register for the United States selective service. Failure to register is consider as evidence of not meeting the good moral character requirement. There are ways in which we can argue that this requirement be waived, although this is not the preferable course of action.
Members of the United States armed forces have certain benefits and relaxed residency requirements when applying for citizenship. It is important that active duty service members consult with an immigration attorney before applying for citizenship.
To contact our office and discuss if you and/or your family member may become a citizen of the United States, please call (509) 927-3840.
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Quiroga Law Office, PLLC | Spokane Immigration Attorneys
(509) 927 3840
505 N. Argonne Rd., Suite B-109, Spokane Valley, WA 99212