As someone who has lived in the United States as a permanent resident, you are likely seeking to make your residence official by becoming a naturalized citizen. However, a foreign national by default has citizenship in another country. While you are excited to be an American, you may still feel an emotional attachment towards your home country and don’t want to give up your first citizenship. You may also want to keep your first citizenship as a backup in case you want to leave the U.S.
A frequently asked question asked to Los Angeles immigration attorneys by U.S. permanent residents “Can I become a naturalized U.S. citizen if I citizenship to my home country?” In response, a Los Angeles citizenship lawyer will tell you that it depends on two factors:
- U.S. immigration laws on dual citizenship
- Your home country’s laws regarding dual citizenship
Current U.S. immigration laws on dual citizenship are actually a bit confusing. While it never states that having dual citizenship bars foreigners from becoming naturalized citizens, the Oath of Allegiance they must take says to “renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen.”
Despite the above statement, dual citizenship has been repeatedly allowed by the U.S. immigration courts. In fact, the U.S. State Department’s website states that “U.S. law does not . . . require a person to choose one citizenship or another.”
Therefore, the U.S. will not ask naturalizing citizens to formally renounce citizenship of their home country. The government also does not stop naturalized U.S. citizens from applying for a third citizenship in another country.
You may continue to vote in your home country, if your home country allows it.
Becoming a Naturalized Citizen With the Help of an Immigration Attorney
In order to become a naturalized citizen, you must have lived in the U.S. as a permanent resident for at least five years, or be married to a U.S. citizen for at least three years. In order to become a naturalized citizen, you must fill out the form N-400. You must also not have certain crimes on your record, and you must also demonstrate an understanding of U.S. history and the English language.
If you are seeking to become a naturalized citizen, you should make sure your application is iron-clad by hiring professional legal immigration help in Los Angeles. The attorneys of Alami Law can review your application and help you edit any discrepancies that may ruin your chances at naturalization. Call our office now!