Naturalization & Citizenship Lawyers In Oakland
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The final step in the process of immigrating to the United States is to become a U.S. citizen.
In order to apply for U.S. citizenship, you will need to have lived in the U.S. with a valid Green Card for at least five years (with some exceptions for asylees, for people married to U.S. citizens, and for people who have spent time outside of the United States). You must also complete the eight basic requirements listed below.
To apply for citizenship, you need to:
- Be a lawful permanent resident.
- Be at least 18 years old.
- Have “good moral character.”
- Be able to pass an English exam (with some exceptions).
- Be able to pass an exam on U.S. history and government.
- Have lived in the U.S. for the majority of the past five years.
- Have not traveled outside the U.S. for extended periods of time.
- Be willing to swear loyalty to the United States.
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It can be risky to apply for citizenship because your immigration situation will be scrutinized by the government. If you have certain problems, not only can your application be denied, but the government could actually try to take away your Green Card and put you in removal proceedings to deport you out of the country. Definitely contact an experienced immigration attorney in Oakland before submitting your application!
Some advantages of citizenship include the following, and more:
- Voting. Only U.S. citizens can vote in federal and most state elections.
- Bringing family members to the U.S. As a citizen, you can petition your family members to come on a Green Card.
- Obtaining citizenship for your children. When you naturalize, your children will likely become citizens, too, and your children born in the future (even if abroad) will likely all be citizens.
- U.S. passport. As a citizen, you can travel on a U.S. passport.
- Federal jobs. Most federal jobs require you to be a citizen.
- Becoming an elected official. Most political appointments and positions require citizenship.