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Had a green card for 5 years? You could become a US citizen.

Many people come to America with different types of visas. Maybe you are just visiting. Maybe you are only here to work. If you are planning to stay for good, you will have acquired a green card, which allows you to live and work permanently in America.

If you have lived with a green card long enough, you might be thinking about becoming a citizen of The United States. There are a few ways you can do this. A common way that people become citizens is through the process of naturalization.

What is naturalization?

Naturalization is a process where you become a U.S. citizen based on a set of requirements. They will be slightly different depending on your specific situation, but in general, if you meet the following requirements, then you can apply for citizenship:

  1. Establish permanent residency – You must have a valid green card.
  2. Lived here for five years – You must have lived in America for at least the last five years.
  3. Been present for 30 months – In the last five years, you must have spent a total of at least 30 months in America.
  4. Stay in America after filing – Once you file for citizenship through naturalization, you must stay in The United States until you are granted or denied naturalization
  5. Pass civics history test – It is required that you pass an American civics history test. There are several ways to study and prepare for your test.
  6. Show good moral character – You must prove that in the last five years you have shown good moral character (GMC). This looks at things like criminal convictions, drug charges, illegal gambling and prostitution.
  7. Pledge allegiance to the U.S. Constitution – You must formally state before immigration services that you leave your previous country of citizenship and accept The United States.
  8. Legal adult – To apply for naturalization you must be at least 18-years-old, the legal age of majority in America.

If meet (or will meet) these qualifications, you may be able to become a legal citizen through naturalization.

Naturalization can be very complicated. It is often a good idea to work with a skilled lawyer to help you along with the process. Experienced immigration lawyers make it their job to help immigrants obtain citizenship, and will fight for you to have the many benefits that come with citizenship.

Once you gain your citizenship, you will be able to vote, sponsor other family members for residency, obtain and use a U.S. passport, run for political office and many other benefits. You can make your dreams a reality, just take it one step at a time.

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    Law Office of Isaias Torres
    2000 North Loop Suite 250
    Houston, TX 77018

    Phone: 713-624-1040
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