Practice Areas

Citizenship - Naturalization and Automatic

There are a number of ways to become a U.S. citizen. Below are the most common.

 

Five Years with a Green Card

The most straightforward way to become eligible for a naturalization is to have a green card for five years. Individual who fulfill that criteria and who have a minimal criminal record have an excellent change to become a U.S. citizen. You will have to be able to speak English, unless you are over 55 and have had a green card for a long time. We strongly recommend that you become a U.S. citizen to protect yourself in case something unexpected happens. 

 

Three Years With a Green Card Through Your Spouse

If your spouse sponsored you for your green card, you only need to have three years as a legal permanent resident to become a U.S. citizen. You have to still be married in order to benefit from this. 

 

Citizenship Through Your Parents

If one of your parents is a U.S. citizen, you may be a U.S. citizen too, even if you were not born in the U.S. The rules are somewhat confusing, so it helps to have a lawyer on your side. If you aren't sure whether you qualify, talk to a lawyer soon. 

 

It is especially important to talk to a lawyer if you about to turn 18. Some of the ways you can become certified as a U.S. citizen will disappear once you turn 18. 

 

How do you get the U.S. to recognize that you are a U.S. Citizen?

 

In order to get the U.S. to accept that you are a U.S. citizen, you need to obtain a certificate of citizenship. That requires submitting a form to USCIS with evidence proving that you qualify. Below are the rules governing this. If you think you might qualify, you can contact us to get help. 

 

The Confusing Rules About Who Is a U.S. Citizen

 

A child born outside the United States of America and its territories is considered a U.S. citizen at birth, if the child meets certain requirements.

 

When the child’s parents are married to each other:

 

  • If the child’s parents are married to each other and both parents are U. S. citizens, and at least one parent lived in the United States or a territory of the United States before the child was born, then the child is a U. S. citizen.

 

  • If only one of the child’s parents is a U.S. citizen, the child must be born on or after November 14, 1986 and the parent who is a U.S. citizen must meet physical presence requirements before the birth.

    • The U.S. citizen parent must have lived in the United States or its territories for 5 years before the birth. 2 of those years must be after the parent was 14 years old. Serving with the U.S. Armed Forces abroad, working for the U.S government abroad, and employment with certain international organizations abroad, can count toward the physical presence requirement. If the parent who is a U.S. citizen was a dependent child and lived abroad while a parent served in the U.S. Armed Forces, or worked for the United States government, or certain international organizations, that can count toward the physical presence requirement.

 

If the child’s parents were not married to each other when the child was born:

 

  • If the child’s biological mother is is a U.S. citizen at the time of the birth and the child the was born after December 23, 1952, and the mother had been physically present in the United States or one of its territories for at least one year before the birth, then the child is a U.S. Citizen.

  • If the non-genetic gestational carrier of the child is a U.S. citizen,  and the child was born after December 23, 1952, and the gestational had been physically present in the United States or one of its territories for at least one year before the birth, then the child is a U.S. Citizen.

 

  • If only the genetic father is a U.S. citizen and the child was born on or after November 14, 1986, the child is a U.S. citizen if certain requirements are met.

    • The father must have been a U.S citizen at the time of the child’s birth.

    • A blood relationship between the child and the U.S. citizen father must be established.

    • The father must agree and state in writing to support the child until the child turns 18. (If the father is dead, this requirement does not apply.)

    • While the child is under age 18, paternity must be established.

    • The U.S. citizen father must meet the physical presence requirement. The father must have lived in the United States or its territories for 5 years before the birth. 2 of those years must be after the father was 14 years old. Serving with the U.S. Armed Forces abroad, working for the U.S government abroad, and employment with certain international organizations abroad, can count toward the physical presence requirement. If the father who is a U.S. citizen was a dependent child and lived abroad while a parent served in the U.S. Armed Forces, or worked for the United States government, or certain international organizations, that can count toward the physical presence requirement.

 

A child can automatically become a U.S. citizen after birth, but before age 18, if the child meets certain requirements.

 

  • If the child was under age 18 or not born yet, on February 27, 2001, the child is a U.S. citizen if

    • at least one parent is a U.S. citizen,

    • and the child lives in the USA,

    • and the child is in the physical and legal custody of U.S. citizen parent,

    • while applying for lawful permanent residence 

 

  • If the child was under age 18 between December 24, 1952 and February 26, 2001, the child is a U.S. citizen if

    • the child was a Green card holder in the United States and both parents became naturalized U.S citizens before the child’s 18th birthday.

    • if one parent died, then the surviving parent became a naturalized U.S. citizen before the child turned 18.

    • if the parents legally separated and the parent with legal and physical custody became a naturalized U.S. citizen before the child turned 18.

    • if the child was born to a single, unmarried mother and paternity has not be established, and the mother became a naturalized U.S. citizen before the child turned 18.

 

  • If the child was adopted by a U. S. Citizen parent, the child is a U.S citizen if

    • the child lives in the United States as a legal resident, in the legal and physical custody of the U.S. citizen parent and meets certain conditions after February 27, 2001 but before the child turns 18.

      • the child must have been adopted by the child’s 16th (sometimes 18th) birthday, and have been in the legal custody and lived with the U.S. citizen parent for 2 years.

      • the child was admitted to the United States as an orphan (IR-4) or a Convention adoptee (IH-4) and the adoption by the U.S. citizen parent or parents was completed abroad.

      • the child was admitted to the United States as an orphan (IR-4) or a Convention adoptee (IH-4) and the adoption was completed by age 18.

 

Contact MIRA Legal at 615-307-6472 or by email at info@mira.legal for help with your U.S. Citizenship case today. 

 

 


*This webpage is for informational purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice and does not create an Attorney-Client relationship.

CONTACT US

Call:  615-307-6472

Text: 615-933-8537

Fax: 615-577-0766

 

486 Bell Road, Suite B

Nashville, Tennessee 37217

EMAIL

info@mira.legal

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