(212) 944-9420

Visit Us On TwitterVisit Us On FacebookVisit Us On Linkedin

U.S. Citizenship

Our experienced immigration lawyers at Oltarsh & Associates, P.C. can help you obtain U.S. Citizenship after your Green Card. Contact our office to get started.

Many U.S. permanent residents decide to become naturalized U.S. Citizens. Citizenship offers many benefits and additional rights that legal permanent residents are not entitled to, such as the right to vote in federal elections and freedom from travel restrictions.  Certain public benefits are also afforded more freely to US citizens. Lawful permanent residents are also subject to deportation or removal proceedings, unlike naturalized U.S. citizens.

Our experienced immigration lawyers at Oltarsh & Associates, P.C. can help you obtain U.S. Citizenship

If you want to become a naturalized U.S. citizen, here is what you need to know from a New York immigration lawyer at Oltarsh & Associates, P.C.

U.S. Citizenship Requirements

Requirements to apply for naturalization

Permanent residents are eligible for citizenship if they meet all the following requirements:

  • The foreign national has resided in the United States as a permanent resident continually for five years. A foreign national is eligible after three years if the permanent residents have been married and living with their United States citizen spouse for that period. The cohabitation must continue until the oath ceremony.
  • The foreign resident has been physically present in the United States for half of the five or three-year period and cannot have broken their period of residency.
  • The foreign national must have resided for at least three months in the state where the citizenship application will be filed.
  • The individual must be a person of good moral character.
  • The individual must possess a basic knowledge of the U.S. government and history.
  • Ability to read, write, and speak basic English.
  • The individual must be at least eighteen years old, competent to take an oath of allegiance to the United States, and can express the willingness of allegiance to the United States.

With respect to the foregoing, some areas significantly impact the viability of citizenship applications.

The following issues may impact a foreign national’s ability to obtain U.S. citizenship:

  • Arrests
  • Lying to government officials, including USCIS officers and Consular officers
  • Fraud (i.e., marriage and/or other immigration fraud)
  • Failure to pay child support
  • Failure to file tax returns when required to do so
  • Significant periods outside the United States
  • Failure of a male to register for the selective service between 18 and 26 years
  • Lack of moral character for the last five years

Time spent outside the US

Time spent outside the United States can impact the application in two ways: non-citizens must have lived for a specified period inside the United States to be eligible for citizenship, and one trip of six months or longer may potentially break the residency period.

As a result, although travel outside of the U.S. is permitted, the applicant must have lived in the United States more than half the time during the preceding qualifying period and thereafter through the time of the oath ceremony. In addition, periods outside the United States for greater than six months can break the continuous residence required to be eligible for citizenship.

Good moral character 

The meaning of good moral character for U.S. citizenship covers a wide variety of behaviors. Interface with law enforcement can have a significant impact on eligibility for citizenship. Even acts that do not result in convictions might impact moral character if they occurred during the statutory period required for good moral character.

Review of file/issues for fraud or a mistake of law

Another issue to be aware of is that when applying for U.S. Citizenship after your Green Card, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) may look into the entire immigration file of the applicant, and review whether the immigration benefits afforded were a result of fraud or a mistake.

This could come up, for example, if someone applied as an unmarried child of a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and got married before the grant of the residence and neglected to inform the adjudications Officer of the change. The USCIS will also run a background check.

We assist you with your U.S. Citizenship application

For most people, naturalization is a thrilling experience. Now that you’ve read the U.S. citizenship requirements, you should contact a New York immigration lawyer at Oltarsh & Associates, P.C.

If you have any questions regarding your eligibility based on these requirements, we can help you determine if you are eligible. We can assist you in completing and submitting your citizenship application. Call us today to schedule an appointment at (212) 944-9420.