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Bay Area Citizenship and Naturalization Attorney
While the U.S. faces challenges at home and abroad, it still provides a multitude of opportunities to its citizens. People from all over the world arrive in this country in search of their own American Dream. The Bay Area immigration attorneys at Silver Law Firm understand the longing to become an American citizen and have the knowledge and experience to help you achieve your goal of U.S. citizenship.
Citizenship through Parents
There are two paths to U.S. citizenship for children whose parents are citizens. If the child is born outside of the U.S. after February 26, 2001 and is under 18 years of age, they automatically become a citizen if:
- Their biological, non-genetic gestational, or adoptive parent is a U.S. citizen
- They are a lawful permanent resident
- They live in the U.S. with their citizen parent
If a child under 18 years of age resides outside of the U.S., then they are eligible for naturalization if:
- Their parent or grandparents meet requirements for being physically present in the U.S.
- They live with the citizen parent or, if the parent is deceased, the person with whom they live approves
- They enter the U.S. legally and are in the country when their application is approved and when they are naturalized
Citizenship through Naturalization
The first step to becoming a U.S. citizen through naturalization is obtaining a green card. Once you have a green card, then the requirements for naturalization differ slightly depending on whether or not you are married to a citizen.
Whether or not you are married to a U.S. citizen, you are required to:
- Be at least 18 years old
- Have lived in the same USCIS district for the previous three months
- Show that you are able to read, write, and speak English
- Demonstrate that you understand U.S. history and civics
- Demonstrate moral character in accordance with the U.S. Constitution
- Stay in the U.S. between the time you apply for naturalization and the time you are naturalized
If you are not married to a U.S. citizen, then you are eligible to apply for naturalization if you also have:
- Had your green card and been a resident of the U.S. for the previous five years
- Been in the U.S. for at least 30 of the previous 60 months
If you are married to a U.S. citizen, then you are required to also have:
- Had your green card for three years
- Been living with your spouse for the previous three years
- Been a U.S. resident for the previous three years
There are different requirements if your citizen spouse is employed outside of the U.S., if you are a service member, or if you are a family member of someone in the military.
The process of obtaining your U.S. citizenship – either through parentage or naturalization – is both incredibly nerve-wracking and rewarding. If your circumstances don’t fit neatly into the USCIS pathways, it can also be quite challenging. That’s why the Bay Area immigration attorneys at Silver Law Firm are standing by, ready to help you navigate your path to citizenship and the American Dream.