As a Miami immigration lawyer and an Austin immigration lawyer, I’d like to go over the basics of how to obtain U.S. citizenship. Here are some frequently asked questions.

Am I eligible to apply for naturalization?Before you apply for naturalization, you must meet a few requirements. Depending on your situation, there are different requirements that may apply to you. However, generally, an applicant for naturalization must:

  • Be 18 years old or older at the time of filing Form N-400, Application for Naturalization.
  • Be a lawful permanent resident (have a “green card”).
  • Demonstrate continuous permanent residence in the United States for at least 5 years. (In some cases, this may be 3 years if you are married to a U.S. citizen.)
  • Show that you have been physically present in the United States for 30 months. (In some cases, this may be 18 months if you are married to a U.S. citizen.)
  • Show that you have lived for at least 3 months in the state or USCIS district where you claim residence. Before applying for naturalization please keep in mind that if you have a parent that was a U.S. citizen, either by birth or naturalization, before you turned 18 years old, you may have a claim to citizenship. The form to file a claim to U.S. citizenship is Form N-600, Application for Certificate of Citizenship.

If you have any further questions in regard to this, you may want to speak with a Miami immigration lawyer or an Austin immigration lawyer.

What will I need to know before becoming a U.S. citizen?

During your interview, a USCIS Officer will test your ability to read, write, and speak English and your knowledge of civics. Many times the reason applicants fail the naturalization test is that they cannot answer the interview questions in English.  You should be prepared for the English portion of your naturalization test when you submit your application. At your naturalization interview, you will also be tested on your knowledge of U.S. history and government (civics).If you have any questions in regard to this, you may want to speak with a Miami immigration lawyer or an Austin immigration lawyer.

What else is expected of me before I become a citizen of the United States?

You must be willing to support and defend the United States and its Constitution. You declare your “attachment” or loyalty to the United States and the Constitution when you take the Oath of Allegiance at your naturalization ceremony. You become a U.S. citizen after you take the Oath of Allegiance. If you have any questions in regard to this, you may want to speak with a Miami immigration lawyer or an Austin immigration lawyer.

I have been married, divorced, widowed, or had my name legally changed. What should I know?

You shouldbring a copy of your marriage certificate, your divorce or annulment decree, or the death certificate of your former spouse. If you changed your name through a court, bring a copy of the court decree that legally changed your name. Also, if your current spouse was married before, bring evidence of the termination of your spouse’s prior marriage(s). Failing to show proof of your current marital status or legal name may delay your case. If you have any questions in regard to this, you may want to speak with a Miami immigration lawyer or an Austin immigration lawyer.

I have traveled outside the United States since becoming a permanent resident. What should I know?

You need to show all foreign travel during the last five years as a permanent resident. Even if you have not traveled outside the United States since becoming a permanent resident, you should bring all of your valid and expired passports and any travel documents issued by USCIS to your naturalization interview. If you do not bring your passport(s) and other documents to your interview, your case could be delayed.  If you have any questions in regard to this, you may want to speak with a Miami immigration lawyer or an Austin immigration lawyer.

I am a man between the ages of 18 and 26. What should I know?

If you are a man between the ages of 18 and 26, you must register for the Selective Service and provide proof of your registration to USCIS. If you are 26 or older but under the age of 31, you must provide proof that you registered with the Selective Service when you were required to do so. If you were required to register and did not, you must bring to your interview both a written statement explaining why you did not register and a letter from the Selective Service System indicating your status. If you have any questions in regard to this, you may want to speak with a Miami immigration lawyer or an Austin immigration lawyer.

What should I know about reporting my income on income tax forms?

Your tax returns are very important proof that you are eligible for naturalization. On the day of your interview, bring certified tax returns for the last 5 years (3 years if you are married to a U.S. citizen). If you have any questions in regard to this, you may want to speak with a Miami immigration attorney or an Austin immigration attorney.

Are I eligible for a disability waiver or age-based exemption?

You may not need to take the English and civics portions of the naturalization test if you have a medical disability that prevents you from demonstrating knowledge of English or civics. For more information in regard to this, you may want to speak with a Miami immigration attorney or an Austin immigration attorney.

If you would like more information on applying for a visa, deportation defense, obtaining  U.S. citizenship, or obtaining a green card, please contact Miami immigration lawyer and Austin immigration lawyer Michael G. Murray, Esq. at (305) 895-2500 or visit our website at www.mmurraylaw.com.

Coronavirus update: We are safely open for business! USCIS is still accepting new filings for all applications. Our office is offering virtual consultations for new clients so that you don't have to come to our office in person. Call us to schedule your virtual meeting today.
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