Citizenship / Naturalization

Obtaining U.S. citizenship through naturalization is what many immigrants want. It’s the end of an immigrant’s journey because, once a citizen, there’s no real need to worry about deportation. From a experienced family immigration attorney, here are the main requirements you need to meet before you apply for U.S. citizenship:

  • You must be in the US during the three months prior to filing your application.
  • You must demonstrate “physical presence” in the US for the five years preceding your application.
  • This doesn’t mean you can’t travel but you can’t be outside the US for more than 180 days during any one calendar year.
  • There are a few circumstances, such as military service abroad, that are valid exceptions to the five year physical presence rule.
  • If you are outside the US for more than a year, you should consult with a licensed immigration attorney to discuss your specific situation.
  • If you are married to a US citizen who is employed abroad, you should consult with a licensed immigration attorney to discuss whether an uncommon benefit, under INA Section 319(b), applies and you (the LPR) qualify for expedited naturalization.

In addition, you must prove you are a person of good moral character, which is typically addressed by a lack of a criminal history (traffic tickets are usually not important), completing your state and federal income taxes each year, and paying any back taxes owed.  Though the government tends to focus five years immediately preceding the application for citizenship, anything done at any time while you were in the U.S. can be considered for good moral character.

Swenson Law Office, PC, goes the extra mile and continues to work with our clients by practicing for their interview and citizenship test. We highly recommend the materials USCIS provides on its website for home study. We focus on our client’s ability to answer questions asked verbally in English, writing in English, and more. We’re dedicated to your success.

Swenson Law Office, PC

5161 E. Arapahoe Rd., Suite 120