We provide assistance with Naturalization whether you want a second set of eyes to review your petition without paying for an attorney’s full representation or you want an attorney to represent you through the entire process and prepare you for the interview. Below are some issues that may come up during the Naturalization Process. We highly advise against filing the application yourself if you believe there may be issues with Good Moral Character as, at the worst-case scenario, evidence of bad moral character may lead to deportation.
Citizenship at Birth
If you were born to at least one U.S. Citizen parent, you may be eligible to file N-600. This form grants you a Citizenship Certificate and is a quick and easy way to determine your Citizenship.
Physical Presence and Residence Requirements
In order to qualify for Naturalization, you must be physically present in the U.S. at least half of the requisite period of lawful permanent residence necessary to qualify for naturalization. This would be at least 18 months, depending on how you obtained your legal permanent resident status.
You must be a resident of the U.S. for at least five years before you apply for naturalization (three years for spouse of USC’s). Whether you are a resident of the U.S. is determined by your intent and may be shown by facts and circumstances of your case.
Language and Civics Knowledge
The Naturalization Interview/Test consists of a test of your grasp of the English language and your knowledge of United States history and government. You are required to be able to read and write “simple words and phrases” in order to pass the Naturalization Test. However, you are exempted from the language requirement in the following two situations:
- if you have been living in the U.S. for more than 15 years and are over 55 years old, or
- if you have been living in the U.S. for more than 20 years and are over 50 years old.
The history or civics test consist of questions drawn from a list of 100 questions. You still must pass the civics test, if you are exempted from the English language test, however, you are entitled to take the civics test in a language of your choice.
Good Moral Character – Criminal Convictions
Please note that evidence of bad moral character expands beyond criminal convictions. However, we point out the existence of any criminal convictions as an indicator that it would be extremely important for you to work with an immigration attorney on your naturalization.
Under INA Section 101(a)(48), the immigration law’s definition for a criminal conviction is different from that in the state criminal courts. Some forms of deferred adjudications, such as “continued without finding” could be considered as convictions for immigration purposes.