Citizenship and Naturalization

There are many benefits to becoming a U.S. Citizen. If you are unsure of your eligibility, consult with us and we will provide you with an accurate assessment. Naturalization is the most common way to become a U.S. citizen.

You may qualify for naturalization if meet the following requirements:
  • You have been a permanent resident for at least 5 years.
  • You have continuously lived in the U.S. for the past 5 years.
  • You spent at least half of the 5 years (30 months) in the U.S.
  • You have not lost your permanent resident status.
  • You have been a person of good moral character.
  • You can read, write and understand basic English (unless you qualify for an exemption).
  • You have knowledge of U.S. history and government (unless you qualify for an exemption).
  • You agree to support the U.S. Constitution.

If you were granted your green card through marriage to a U.S. citizen, you may qualify for naturalization if you meet the following requirements:
  • You have been a permanent resident for at least 3 years.
  • You have continuously lived in the U.S. for the last 3 years.
  • You spent at least half of the 3 years (18 months) in the U.S.
  • You have not lost your permanent resident status.
  • You have been a person of good moral character.
  • You can read, write and understand basic English (unless you qualify for an exemption).
  • You have knowledge of U.S. history and government (unless you qualify for an exemption).
  • You agree to support the U.S. Constitution.

If I am unable to learn English or American civics, what should I do?
  • If you are 50 or older and lived in U.S. as a permanent resident for at least 20 years at time of filing of the naturalization application, you are exempt from the English requirement and can take the test in your native language.
  • If you are 55 or older and lived in U.S. as a permanent resident for at least 15 years at time of filing of the naturalization application, you are exempt from the English requirement and can take the test in your native language.
  • If you are 65 or older and lived in U.S. as a permanent resident for at least 20 years at time of filing of the naturalization application, you are exempt from both the English and civics requirement. You still should study American civics in your native language but the USCIS officers will try to make the test easier for you.

If I am sick and cannot learn English, can I still apply for naturalization?
  • If you have a medical condition or disability that makes you unable to learn English or study for the civics test, you may apply for a medical disability waiver. The waiver, if approved, will exempt you from the English requirement, the civics requirement, or both requirements. The medical disability waiver has very strict requirements. Not all medical conditions qualify for it. Please consult with our attorney first before applying for medical waiver.

Other Ways to Qualify for Naturalization/U.S. Citizenship
  • You have qualifying service in the U.S. armed forces and meet all other eligibility requirements.
  • Your child may qualify for naturalization if you are a U.S. citizen, the child was born outside the U.S., and the child is currently residing outside the U.S.
  • Your child may also acquire citizenship automatically if at least one parent is a U.S. citizen, the child is currently under 18 and residing in the U.S. in the legal and physical custody of the U.S. citizen parent pursuant to lawful admission for permanent residence.
  • A child adopted by a U.S. citizen parent may also acquire citizenship automatically under certain conditions.

The laws governing acquisition of U.S. citizenship is very complicated. In fact, many individuals do not even know that they have become U.S. citizens. Sometimes it will take a formal petition to the U.S. government in order to verify one’s citizenship. Please consult our attorney if you need assistance with your case.

Warning: If you have special issues such as a criminal conviction, you should not apply for naturalization before consulting with a qualified attorney.

Although there are many benefits to becoming a U.S. citizen, not every green card holder is eligible to apply. For example, a person who has a criminal record, even for a minor offense such as DUI, may not be eligible for naturalization.

Denial of naturalization may not only cost you money and time; in some situation you may also lose your green card in removal or deportation proceedings. If you have been convicted of any offense or if there exists special issues in your case, you should consult our office first before applying for naturalization.

We also help clients to…

  • Apply for Certification of Citizenship to confirm one’s U.S. citizenship.
  • Appeal denials of naturalization applications.
  • Represent clients at naturalization interviews and examinations.
  • Determine whether you are a U.S. citizen or not.
  • Defend you in de-naturalization proceedings

Appointments

  • Phone Consultations
  • Weekend/Evening Appointments
  • Out of State Services
  • VISA/MC/AE Accepted

We serve clients from all countries and walks of life from investors, professionals, skilled labourers, and people wishing to join their family members in the USA.

Contact Us

1-732-632-9888

Paul Szeto LLC.
190 State Route 27
No. Edison, NJ 08820 USA
info@szetolaw.com

Languages: English, Cantonese, Mandarin

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Admissions & Associations

Bar Admissions:
  • New York State Bar
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey
  • New Jersey State Bar
  • Middlesex County Bar Association
  • California Bar (inactive)
Associations:
  • New York State Bar Association
  • American Immigration Lawyers Association
  • New Jersey State Bar Association
  • Middlesex County Bar Association
  • California Bar Association
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