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Naturalization after Five Years

Naturalization is the most common path to U.S. citizenship. If you have been a green card holder for at least five years, you are eligible to apply for naturalization if you meet the following requirements:

  • Are 18 or older at the time of filing
  • Have resided continuously in the U.S. as a green card holder for at least five years immediately preceding the date of filing the application
  • Have resided continuously in the U.S. from the date of the application for naturalization upon to the time of naturalization
  • Are able to read, write, and speak English, and have knowledge and an understanding of U.S. history and government (civics)
  • Have good moral character

Naturalization after Three Years (Marriage to U.S. Citizen)

If you gain your green card through marriage to a U.S. citizen, the criteria to apply for naturalization are a little different. In order to apply for naturalization as the spouse of a U.S. citizen, you must:

  • Have been a permanent resident (green card holder) for at least three years
  • Have been living with your U.S. citizen spouse during your permanent residency
  • Meet all other eligibility requirements

Uncommon Paths to Citizenship

There are other options for obtaining U.S. citizenship as well. Attorney Van Wormer has assisted numerous clients who have sought citizenship based upon:

  • Citizenship at birth for children born outside the U.S. and its territories (parents serving honorably in the U.S. armed forces and birth on U.S. armed forces bases around the world and on established U.S. territories)
  • Parents employed with the U.S. government
  • Parents employed with certain international organizations
  • Derivative U.S. citizenship from parent after birth (before child is the age of 18)
  • Grandparents whose grandchildren were not able to derive citizenship through their parents

Barriers to Gaining Citizenship

Regardless of your basis for seeking citizenship, there are certain actions that will prevent your application from being successful. These include:

  • Criminal convictions
  • Traveling outside of the U.S. for more than 180 days per travel incident
  • Voting unlawfully
  • False claims to U.S. citizenship

If you are facing a denial of citizenship based on these or any other issues, we can help. Contact Van Wormer Law today to learn more.