In the last few years, applying for a visa and immigrating to the United States became an overwhelming task. Many things changed significantly, such as eligibility criteria, visa requirements, and time thresholds involved in proceedings.
Hence, obtaining a US visa requires an expert approach, which can be done only with the guidance of an experienced immigration attorney. In this article, you will discover the period required for lawful permanent residents to apply for US citizenship.
Applying for US Citizenship – The Essentials
The agency responsible for qualifying and determining applicants’ eligibility to become US citizens is the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), a branch of the US Department of Homeland Security.
Accordingly, USCIS always will look closely at two key points on one’s immigration journey – the attainment of lawful permanent residence (green card) in the United States and the transition into naturalization towards US citizenship.
The federal legislation concerning US immigration policies and citizenship eligibility is the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). As provided by law, no legal permanent resident may apply for US citizenship until he/she has lived in the country for at least five years.
It is fundamental to note that this time threshold considers only the period that the applicant lived under legal permanent residence (green card). Hence, USCIS will not consider the time spent by applicants under nonimmigrant visas.
For lawful permanent residents married to US citizens, the required period may be reduced to three years – as long as the applicant can provide he/she was married to a US citizen during the required period.
It is worth noting that the two-year conditional resident status applied to foreign nationals married to US citizens or business investors counts towards the total time considered by USCIS to apply for US citizenship.
Still, applicants must remove the conditions on their green cards before filing Form N-400 (Application for Naturalization).
How Many Years Can a Green Card Holder Apply for US Citizenship? – In Detail
Besides being a lawful permanent resident in the United States for five years, naturalization applicants must meet several requirements. As expected, applicants must prove they have been continuously residing in the United States for the previous five years.
Plus, one must have lived in the state (or USCIS district) where he/she will be applying for citizenship for at least three months, as well as been physically present within the country for at least 30 months out of the total five years.
In terms of eligibility, applicants must have a grasp of the English language, knowing how to speak, read, and write properly. Plus, applicants must prove they have a solid knowledge of US history and politics by passing a civics test applied at the USCIS office.
Ultimately, any applicant who wants to be a US citizen must prove to have good moral character and support the values expressed in the United States Constitution.
Applying for US Citizenship – Are There Exceptions to the Rule?
Besides the exceptions outlined in this article, other exceptions apply to the residency requirements and the applicant’s qualifications. In this context, you must consult with an expert immigration attorney to have your case assessed individually.
Do You Want to Become a US Citizen? – Work with Attorney Romy B. Jurado Today
Taking an oath of allegiance to the US flag is the lifetime dream of thousands of people worldwide. Waste no time – consult with Attorney Romy B. Jurado today by calling (305) 921-0976 or emailing Romy@juradolawfirm.com to schedule a consultation.