U.S. Citizenship

Citizenship by Naturalization

If you are eligible to apply for United States citizenship, in my opinion you should absolutely move forward with your case. Once you have citizenship, you can freely travel, vote in elections, and petition for green cards for close relatives.

Generally, citizenship by naturalization requires that you be a green card holder for three to five years, be at least 18 years old, have continuous physical presence in the U.S. for some amount of time, demonstrate good moral character, take an oath of allegiance to the U.S. and demonstrate knowledge of the English language and U.S. history and government.

Naturalization Through Marriage

If you obtained your green card through your U.S. citizen spouse, you are eligible for naturalization as long as you have been a green card holder for at least five years. In addition, you will have to show the U.S. government the following: that you are married to and living with your U.S. citizen spouse, that you have been married to that same spouse for three years, that your spouse has been a U.S. citizen for at least three years, and that you have not been out of the country for 18 months or more in the past three years.

What Documents Will I Need?

The documents that we file in support of your naturalization application vary, but generally they include the following: 

  • Two passport-style photographs
  • A copy of your current green card (Front and Back)
  • A copy of your entire passport 
  • A copy of your current marriage certificate
  • Evidence of previous marriages
  • Documents relating to your name change, if applicable
  • Evidence of court orders pertaining to dependents
  • Criminal records, if applicable
  • Tax returns for the past three to five years
  • Installment plans with the IRS if you have failed to pay taxes
  • Status Information Letter from the Selective Service if you are a male

If you are applying for naturalization based on your marriage to a U.S. citizen, we will need to attach the additional following documents: 

  • Joint bank accounts for the past three years
  • Lease agreements or mortgage statements
  • Birth Certificates of any children
  • Any and all other documentation establishing joint residency and good faith marriage with your U.S. citizen spouse
  • Your spouse’s birth certificate
  • Your spouse’s passport
  • Your spouse’s citizenship certificate if they were naturalized

If you’ve been a green card holder for five years, download the document checklist we use in my office by clicking here

If you’ve only been a green card holder for three years and you obtained your green card through your U.S. citizen spouse, click here to download our document checklist.

How Much Will it cost?

Our legal fees for your naturalization application vary depending on the specific facts of your case. In addition, the government filing fee is $725.

Frequently Asked Questions About Citizenship

How long is the process?

Once we file your application with USCIS, it takes approximately five to eight months for the interview to be scheduled. Once your application is approved at the interview, the USCIS officer will schedule you in for the oath ceremony.

I have a criminal record, can I still apply for citizenship?

It depends. I have many clients with minor criminal records who are eligible for citizenship. Make sure to speak with an experienced immigration lawyer if you have a criminal record.

I did not register for Selective Service, can I still apply for citizenship?

It depends. If you are a male over the age of 31 and you failed to register with Selective Service, you will still be eligible for naturalization as long as you can demonstrate that such failure was unintentional. I have many clients in this situation who were able to obtain their citizenship without any issues.

If you are now between the ages of 18 and 26, you must register with Selective Service before we can submit your application for processing with USCIS. If you hire us, our office will assist you in registering for Selective Service.

My green card recently expired, can I still apply for citizenship?

Yes. As long as you have a copy of your original green card, we should be able to apply for citizenship. If your green card expired over two years ago, we ask our clients to file a green card renewal before we move forward with citizenship. If your green card will expire soon, it’s best to apply for citizenship so that you can avoid the unnecessary delays and costs associated with renewing your green card.