Los Angeles Immigration Attorneys: Citizenship Visas

Getting U.S. citizenship has become increasingly difficult, especially as new immigration legislation is being passed and implemented.

Speaking to an attorney is important when considering applying for a citizenship visa, especially when attempting to navigate roadblocks such as the “public charge rule” or being denied citizenship due to a minor error like incomplete documentation.

Our reliable and dedicated immigration attorneys will advocate for your rights and help you obtain a citizenship visa so that you can permanently become a naturalized United States citizen.

Contact LA Attorneys today to discuss if you are eligible for a citizenship visa and how to begin your application.

What is a Citizenship Visa?

United States citizenship, is granted to a person after they meet the requirements of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) . Once a person is a naturalized U.S. citizen, they can legally work in the United States and are eligible for government aid.

There are many benefits to becoming a naturalized U.S. Citizen, especially for those who are Green Card holders and hope to permanently reside in the United States. A naturalized U.S. citizen cannot be deported to their home country for any reason, have the right to aim from the federal government, and have the right to vote in elections or run for office.

How to Determine if you are Eligible for a Citizenship Visa?

Before applying for citizenship in the United States, one has to fulfill a set of eligibility requirements .

If the applicant has been a Lawful and Permanent Resident of the U.S. or has held a Green Card for five years, they are eligible to apply for U.S. citizenship. Within this category, other eligibility requirements must be met, which include, but are not limited to:

  • Being 18 years old, or older, at the time of application

  • Having been a continuous resident and Green Cardholder for the last 5 years

  • Having “good moral character”

  • Having the ability to speak, read, and write English at a basic level

  • Having been “physically present” in the U.S. for 30 months out of the five years that you were a continuous resident.

This is not a comprehensive list. For the full list of eligibility requirements, please visit the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website.

One can also begin the naturalization process if they are married to a U.S. Citizen and have been a Green Card holder for at least 3 years while married to their spouse.

Applying for naturalization in this category is also contingent upon, but is not limited to:

For the full list of eligibility requirements for those who aim to become a naturalized citizen through marriage, visit the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website.

Additionally, one can apply for citizenship if they have served in the United States Military for one year.

Unlike other forms of naturalization, this form has fewer eligibility requirements.

For example, this applicant would not have to be physically located in the United States, depending on their post.

However, other eligibility requirements still apply, such as being a lawful, permanent resident who has demonstrated “good moral character.”

For the full list of eligibility requirements for those who aim to become a naturalized citizen through service in the U.S. Military, please visit the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website.

Finally, one can become a U.S. citizen if they are a child of a U.S. citizen. If a child is born to a U.S. citizen outside of the United States, they can be granted automatic citizenship if:

How to Obtain a Citizenship Visa?

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website outlines the steps to becoming a naturalized U.S. citizen :

1. Determine your eligibility, as outlined in the previous section of this article.

2. Prepared and submit Form I-400 or the Application for Naturalization. Ensure that you have compiled all of the necessary documents that support this form before submitting it. These documents will differ depending on your case, however, examples of supporting documents are your Green Card or marriage certificate.

3. Some applicants will require a biometrics appointment, during which fingerprints and photos will be taken.

4. Next, similar to obtaining a Green Card or Immigrant Visa, the applicant must attend an interview.

5. The U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services will then notify the applicant if their application is accepted, denied, or if the applicant needs to provide additional information or re-take the English or civics tests.

6. Finally, the applicant will need to fill out Form N-445, Notice of Naturalization Oath Ceremony, and take an Oath of Allegiance. Under this oath, one promises to uphold the Constitution, serve in the armed forces, and renounce allegiance to any other nation.

Contact LA Attorneys Today!

Becoming a United States citizen is a complicated process and leaves little room for error, as one mistake can cost an applicant thousands of dollars in fees to resubmit applications. It is important to understand the process and each step within it.

If you have any further questions regarding applying for a citizenship visa or hope to become a naturalized United States citizen, contact LA Attorneys today for guidance.