Citizenship & Naturalization

Citizenship Lawyer Gainesville | FL Atty Evan D. George

Citizenship

“All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”XIV Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

There are two basic ways by which an individual may obtain U.S. citizenship, either by birth or via the process of naturalization. BY BIRTH An individual may become a U.S. citizen by birth in the following ways:

1. Birth in the United States;

2. Birth to two U.S. citizen parents, outside of the United States, as long as one of the parents have resided in the United States prior to the birth;

3. Birth to one U.S. citizen parent, as long as the U.S. citizen parent resided in the United States for at least five years, two of which were after their 14th birthday;

4. Automatic Citizenship under the Child Citizenship Act, for children under 18.

Naturalization

Naturalization is the process by which a foreign citizen or national becomes a U.S. citizen. An individual may apply for naturalization if they have been:

1) a legal permanent resident of the United States for at least five years

2) a legal permanent resident based upon a marriage to a U.S. citizen, with whom they have lived for at least three years; or,

3) permanent residents who have served in the U.S. military for at least three years.

Certain exceptions apply depending on the circumstances.

In order for an application for naturalization to be approved, the applicant must meet certain requirements, including establishing:

  • a period of continuous residence and physical presence in the United States;
  • residence in a particular USCIS District prior to filing;
  • an ability to read, write, and speak English;
  • a knowledge and understanding of U.S. history and government;
  • good moral character; and,
  • allegiance toward the United States.