Who Can Apply for U.S. Citizenship

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While President Donald Trump made an effort to tighten the immigration policies in the US since his election, quite a number of people have still been able to gain citizenship and remain in the states. The most recent data was reported in the first quarter of 2020, where over 256,000 foreigners were

awarded permanent residence this Fiscal Year.

If you want to relocate to the United States and finally become a citizen, knowing whether you qualify is important. There are several ways to acquire permanent residence in the US. Start by hiring a lawyer for the naturalization process Los Angeles.

Being a lawful process, the best person to consult is a lawyer. This way you will have all the correct and updated information on immigration. You have to comply with the requirements of US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for you to apply for permanent residence.

Knowing what can hinder the process is also vital. For example, if you have a criminal record, don’t bother applying for citizenship. But if you meet the following criteria, you could be a few steps away from becoming a bona fide US citizen:

Green Card Holder

The green card is a lottery where a computer selects applicants randomly at the national Visa center.

Permanent residents are immigrants that have Green Cards status recognized by the US immigration department. You need to work on your permanent residence status by living in the US for 5 years before you apply for naturalization. You can acquire a Green Card while in the US or from your home country as long as you are eligible for one.

The process involves selecting people from different geographical areas as well as filtering those who don’t meet the requirements that include:

  • Being from a country that is eligible for the Green card Lottery
  • Having the minimum level of education (completing high school)
  • Minimum age of 18 years

Application requirements also vary from country to country, so it’s important to get specific information before you apply. You can increase your chances of winning a green card if you:

  • Get a job in the US as an expatriate (your application will be reviewed by the UCIS and the department of labor).
  • Decide to invest in the USA and create jobs for Americans.
  • Prove that you have extraordinary ability or talent.
  • Provide specific services to the US such as translation of languages or evangelization.

Living in the US without a green card is a misdemeanor. If you have been granted asylum as a refugee, it will expire after 1 year unless you apply for a green card by meeting these requirements:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Being a lawful resident of good moral character
  • Demonstrate continuous residence
  • Take the oath of allegiance

Married To A US Citizen

In general, you qualify if you have been a resident for 5 years. If you are married to a US citizen, you can apply after living in the US for 3 years.

If you have been a Green Card holder or a lawful permanent resident (LPR) for at least 3 years, you can apply for citizenship if you have been living with the same US citizen spouse during such time. However, you must meet all other eligibility requirements that include:

  • Ability to read, write, and speak English.
  • Understanding the US history and government (civics).
  • Be a person of good moral character, as per the attached to the principles of the Constitution of the United States.
  • Compliance to the requirements of form 400.

The “Application for Naturalization” (Form N-400) asks various questions about crimes. After hiring a lawyer for the naturalization process Los Angeles residents can identify the various misdemeanors that can hamper the application process. If you do not report these offenses, the USCIS will find out about them, and you may be denied naturalization.

US Servicemen And Women

Every year, thousands of foreign-born service members become citizens of the US If you are willing to fight for the United States, your naturalization process has a high chance of success, especially if you work with a Los Angeles citizenship lawyer. Your military service can be a vital conduit to citizenship if you:

  • Are eligible for citizenship.
  • Have served honorably for 180 days during periods of hostility or one year during a time of peace.
  • Comply with the requirements of form 400.

Even if you serve in the military, your criminal record plays a critical role when it comes to determining your eligibility. Crimes are hindrances to naturalization since you cannot establish that you are a person of good moral character if you have ever been convicted of murder or any other aggravated felon.

Immigrant Investors

The main reason why the US became one of the wealthiest countries in the world is the environment it creates for international business tycoons. The US grants citizenship in return for major contributions to the society, culture, and the economy. This provision is aimed at attracting foreign investors to create jobs and contribute to the US economy.

To become an immigrant investor, you need to have a net worth of about $1,000,000. This amount should exclude the value of your house. You can also have an income of about $200,000 per year for at least two years straight. If you qualify for either or both, the next thing to note is that to be allowed to invest in the US, you’ll have to do one of these three:

  • Invest $1 million in your company and directly employ a minimum of 20 people for two years.
  • Invest $500,000 in someone else’s business and becoming a partner.
  • Purchasing a franchise with a hotel chain or franchise especially in a low-employment region.

A competent immigration lawyer in Los Angeles understands the government’s economic development strategy, and can guide applicants that wish to invest in the US on how to acquire citizenship.

Talented Individuals

If you are blessed with extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, athletics, or business, then you can apply for a green card. With the assistance of a naturalization attorney Los Angeles applicants can get the guidance they need to relocate to the United States.

However, you will need to prove your exceptional ability or expertise in a particular field by meeting the government's criteria. Such criteria include:

  • Awards and honors received
  • Exceptional academic credentials
  • Glowing publications (including books and essays) written about you
  • World-class innovations such as the ability to develop apps
  • Ability to become a Hollywood star
  • Being a genius

Students Who Win Scholarships

The United States is a prime destination for students that are looking to reap the benefits of top-notch and world-renowned education. Every year, students apply for scholarships to study abroad. Winning a scholarship to study in the United States can be the sure way to get a green card.

Generally, any citizen of a foreign country who wishes to enter the US must obtain a visa. Students require the input of a Los Angeles citizenship lawyer to facilitate their applications. You need a non-immigrant visa for temporary stay, but if you are planning to become a permanent resident, you will have to apply for an immigrant visa.

Although you can get a student visa while studying in America, you will have to leave after completing your studies unless you:

  • Apply for the H1B visa
  • Renew the H1B visa every 2-4 years
  • Apply for a green card when the H1B visa expires
  • Pass the USCIS interview

With the help of a naturalization attorney Los Angeles applicants can get inside information on how to answer questions during the interview. The best policy when it comes to passing the USCIS interview is honesty. If you lie during your interview, the USCIS will deny your application for lacking good moral character. Remember that UCIS is a component of Homeland security, and can nullify your naturalization down the road.

Hire an Experienced Immigration Attorney

If you still have questions about your eligibility, be sure to contact an experienced immigration lawyer in Los Angeles for assistance. An immigration attorney understands all the requirements of the USCIS for various categories of people that qualify. Even if you are eligible, gathering the documentation you need to navigate the various hurdles can be a daunting task if you don’t understand the process.

Do you qualify for United States citizenship but don’t know how to begin the naturalization process? Contact us today and we will guide you in every step of the way.

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