Houston Citizenship Lawyers
For many who move to the United States, lawful permanent residence through obtaining a green card is the final step of the immigration journey. While permanent residence comes with many advantages, many green card holders hope to one day experience the benefits of becoming a United States citizen.
As a citizen of the United States, you can:
- Run for public office
- Access employment opportunities not available to green card holders
- Qualify for public assistance/government benefits not available to green card holders
- Travel abroad for any length of time without worrying about losing your status
- Sponsor more family members for green cards
- Enjoy permanent protection from deportation
These are just a handful of the benefits of citizenship. Our attorneys at Baker Donelson can help you decide whether this status may be right for you. Since 2003, our firm has guided clients through various immigration matters. We have the knowledge and skill you need to move forward.
The Application Process for Becoming a U.S. Citizen
If you were born in the United States, you generally have a birthright claim to citizenship. Alternatively, you could qualify for citizenship if your parents were citizens when you were born, or they became citizens before you turned 18. This is called acquisition.
If you cannot obtain citizenship through acquisition or birthright, you will need to become a naturalized citizen. This involves filing out Form N-400 "Application for Naturalization" along with providing supporting documents.
Naturalization is when an immigrant becomes a citizen by meeting certain requirements, including:
- Being at least 18 years old
- Maintaining lawful permanent resident status and continuous residence for the last five years (or three years if you have been married to a U.S. citizen for those three years)
- Being physically present in the U.S. for at least 30 months out of the last five years (or 18 months out of the last three years if married to a U.S. citizen)
- Living for at least three months in the state or district where you apply for citizenship
- Demonstrating good moral character in the years leading up to your application
If USCIS accepts your application, you will need to attend an interview with an adjudicating officer. During the interview, the officer will ask you questions about your application. They will also test your proficiency in English, as well as your knowledge of U.S. history and government. If you pass the interview, you will take an oath of allegiance to the United States during your naturalization ceremony.
If you served or are currently serving in the U.S. armed forces, you may be able to complete the naturalization process without meeting typical requirements. Get in touch with our team for more details about this citizenship option.
No matter what type of immigration status or benefit you pursue, the stakes may be extraordinarily high. But you don’t need to go through this process alone. For more than 17 years, Baker Donelson has served individuals, families, and businesses all around the world, and we look forward to giving you a positive and successful experience.
So happy that I found Mrs. Toppins!- Anna
Available & her staff was extremely helpful.- Michael
Don’t hesitate, call Wilka immediately & she will solve it!- Maro M.
Thank you for all of your work!- Rachel F.
The most multifaceted attorney I have ever met!- Zel S.
The immigration process can be challenging. At Baker Donelson, our goal is not just to help you overcome these challenges but also to enjoy your journey. We’re here to help you understand complex processes, move forward with confidence and care, and make fully informed decisions that accomplish your short-term and long-term goals.
Grab your cup of coffee and sit down with Wilka every Thursday as she covers important immigration topics from the Now Media TV studios in Houston Texas.
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