Can I Become A US Citizen?

Hopefully you have first asked if you already are a US citizen because US citizenship can be obtained at birth or later in life.

Many people do not realize they are already a citizen. Read the rest of this to help your investigation.

Almost all people born in the United States are citizens whether the parents are US citizens or not.

If you were born outside of the country to 2 US citizen parents or a US citizen mother or a US citizen father, then you or your parents should speak with a lawyer to determine if US citizenship was transmitted to you because it is a possibility.

It is also possible that you became a US citizen later in life, but before becoming an adult.

This may have happened if one of your parents naturalized or became a US citizen before you turned 18 years old.

Once you turn 18, and are not otherwise a US citizen already, you may apply for naturalization, if:
• you are at least 18 years old
• you have lived in the United States as a lawful permanent resident for at least 5 years (this does not apply to refugees, people who get their green card through political asylum, spouses of US citizens, and US military personnel)
• you have been physically present in the United States for at least half of the last five years
• you have lived in the state or district where you are filing your application for at least 3 months
• you have not spent more than 12 continuous months outside the United States
• you have not made your primary home in another country
• you have good moral character
• you are able to read, write, and speak in English
• you are able to pass a test on US history and government
• you are willing to swear that you believe in the principles of the U.S. Constitution and will be loyal to the United States

These are the basic requirements, so if you believe you are close to satisfying the requirements then you should speak with a lawyer to know for certain if you are eligible to become a US citizen.

I want you to remember that applying for US citizenship means that all of your immigration history will be open to review.

US Citizenship and Immigration Services will definitely investigate your background.

If, for example, they discover something wrong like that you fraudulently obtained your green card, were arrested, or abandoned your residency by making your home outside the United States, they can strip you of your green card and begin deportation proceedings.

If you have any questions regarding immigration, please feel free to call me, immigration attorney Shawn Mesa at (813) 679-5780.

Disclaimer: This information is provided as a public service and not intended to establish an attorney-client relationship. Any reliance on this information is taken at your own risk.

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