Naturalization is the process by which a legal permanent resident, also known as a green card holder, becomes a citizen of the United States. To qualify for the naturalization process the legal permanent residence must:
- Has resided continuously in the United States for at least five years after being lawfully admitted for permanent residence, of which they were physically present in the U.S. for periods totaling at least half of that time.;
- Has resided continuously within the U.S. from the date of filing the application for naturalization up to the time of admission to citizenship; and
- Has been and still is a person of good moral character during this previously mentioned period of time.
If the applicant has been absent from the U.S. for more than six months but less than a year during the period for which continuous residence is required for citizenship, the continuity of such residence shall be considered broken unless the applicant shall establish that he did no in fact abandon residence in the United States. If the absence is for a continuous period of one year or more the continuity of such residence shall be considered broken, except when the person is employed by the U.S. Government, an American Institution of research, or an American Firm or corporation. The INA goes on to provide that an applicant may be naturalized without regard to the residence and physical presence requirements if they are making extraordinary contributions to the national security of the United States or to the conduct of U.S. intelligence activities.
Once a legal permanent resident has meet these requirements for the naturalization process the person must:
- Demonstrate an understanding of the English language, including an ability to read, write, and speak words in ordinary usage in the English language; and
- Demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of the fundamentals of the history, and of the principles and form of government of the United States.
These requirements shall not apply to any person who is unable to comply with them due to physical disability, developmental disability, or mental impairment. The knowledge requirement shall not apply to any person who on the date of filing the naturalization application is over sixty-five years of age and has lived as a lawful permanent resident within the U.S. for period totaling at least twenty years. The previously language requirement will not apply to any person who on the date of the filing of the person’s application for naturalization is:
- Over fifty years of age and has been living in the U.S. as a lawful permanent resident for periods totaling at least twenty years; or
- Over fifty-five and has been living in the U.S. as a lawful permanent resident for periods totaling at least fifteen years.
Contact our South Florida Immigration Procedure Attorneys
Contact our Miami employment based visa attorneys at 305-222-7351, toll free at 1-844-VARI-LAW, or e-mail us to schedule an appointment to discuss your Dade County, Broward County, or Monroe County immigration questions and issues.
Our Miami Immigration lawyers accept immigration law cases in Miami-Dade County, Broward County and Monroe County.
Consultations are available in Miami and at several meeting locations throughout Dade and Broward Counties including Lincoln Road in Miami Beach, Galiano Street in Coral Gables, West Country Club Drive in Aventura, Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood and in the Homestead area. Appointments are also available by telephone and via Skype internet video chat.