Orange County Naturalization Attorneys
Over 50 years ago, the Supreme Court of the United States stated that, So long, however, as aliens fail to obtain and maintain citizenship by naturalization, they remain subject to the plenary power of Congress to expel them under the sovereign right to determine what non-citizens shall be permitted to remain within our borders. Carlson v. Landon, 342 U.S. 524, 531 (1952). This holding remains true to this day.
Today, the attitude toward immigrants seems hostile, if not xenophobic (the fear of immigrants). Since 1996, Congress passed laws and administrative regulations that make it more difficult for foreign nationals to remain and maintain their statuses in the United States or to get naturalized, such as the Illegal Immigrant Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (IIRIRA), The Patriot Act, and the new Naturalization test issued by USCIS (effective as of October 1, 2008). Thus, until all permanent resident aliens obtain U.S. citizenship through naturalization, they are under Congress plenary power to pass laws that regulate their rights to remain in the U.S. or to travel abroad.
At Garg and Associates, PC, we are committed to assisting our clients to be naturalized and become U.S. citizens. In filing the N-400, Application for Naturalization, what differentiates the staff at Garg and Associates from other attorneys is that we are detailed in filing for your application. All applications filed under Garg and Associates will contain a cover letter from an experienced immigration attorney. The cover letter will detail the requirements and evidence to support our clients qualifications. We do not simply fill-out forms and send in a pile of documents. Our attorneys will state the evidence, file them under separate exhibits and clearly state what is included with the application in the cover letter. In addition, we will also file USCIS form G-28 to show that Garg and Associates represents our clients in their Naturalization application. Thus, if the Service has any questions or concerns, the Adjudicating Officers will contact our immigration attorney directly.
Finally, our attorneys are experienced in immigration and naturalization law. Our attorneys have had experience working directly with USCIS officers to resolve difficult issues. In fact, our managing immigration attorney, Mr. Steven Tuan Pham, has had the opportunity to make presentations on Naturalization issues with USCIS in both Washington D.C. and with the Houston District Office. Mr. Pham has also had the opportunity to present to Naturalization Adjudication Officers in Houston, Texas on cultural sensitivity issues and N-648, the Application for Medical Disability Waiver in applying for Naturalization. Please contact one of our experienced immigration attorneys to see how we can assist you in your Naturalization and immigration applications.
How Can a Person Obtain U.S. Citizenship?
There are three (3) ways in which a person can obtains citizenship (hereinafter USC). The first is if the person is born within the United States and/or its territories, even if the parents are undocumented (Jus Solis). However, those that are born on a Native American Indian Reservation must first take the oath of allegiance before he/she is able to obtain citizenship. One may also derive his/her citizenship through one or more USC parent (Jus Sanguinis). The Child Citizenship Act of 2000 effective as of February 27, 2001, allows certain foreign-born, biological, and adopted children of a USC to automatically acquire citizenship. These children did not acquire American citizenship at birth, but they are granted citizenship when they enter the United States as lawful permanent residents (LPRs). Optionally, the USC parent may also obtain a passport for the foreign born child at the Consulate Office where the child resides. Lastly, permanent residents may be naturalized to become U.S. citizens if all requirements are met.
Requirements for Naturalization
Naturalization is the process where a foreign national becomes a US citizen through filing for N-400, Application for Naturalization. To be a naturalized U.S citizen, the lawful permanent resident must demonstrate that he/she is qualified under the following requirements:
- Permanent Resident of the U.S. The first requirement is that the foreign national must be a U.S. permanent resident.
- 18 Years of Age The applicant must be at least 18 years old at the time of filing for Naturalization. There are exceptions, as discussed above, such that the minor child is a derivative of a U.S. Citizen parent.
- Continuous Residence In The U.S. Not only does the applicant have to be a permanent resident, he/she must reside in the United States for a continuous period. The duration of the continuous period depends on the applicants status. Normally, the applicant must maintain a continuous period of five (5) years after lawful admission into the U.S. as a permanent resident. However, if an applicant is married to a U.S citizen, he/she must reside in the U.S. for a continuous period of three (3) years after admission into the U.S as a permanent resident. Such applicants must also maintain marital union (residing together) with the spouse citizen for three years before the aliens citizen exam date. A prolonged absence outside the U.S. (180 days or more) may break the continuous residence, absent an approved N-470 to preserve residency for the purposes of Naturalization. Thus, if an applicant plans to travel more than 6 months abroad, the applicant must file form N-470 and obtain an approval prior to departure. Finally, the applicant must also maintain residency for at least three (3) months prior to filing an application for Naturalization.
- Physical Presence Requirement Even if the applicant obtained an N-470 prior to traveling abroad, the applicant must demonstrate that he/she has been physically present in the U.S. for at least one half of the continuous residency period (2.5 years out of the 5 years under continuous residency requirement). Therefore, if for example the applicant made 10 business trips outside the U.S., and the total amount spent outside the U.S. is 31 months during the last 60 months, the applicant did not maintain physical presence in the U.S. for the purposes of Naturalization.
- Good Moral Character and Attachment to The U.S Constitution To be naturalized, the permanent resident must have good moral character and attachment to principles of the U.S Constitution. An applicant can fail to meet this requirement in the following circumstances:
- Involvement in vice acts (prostitution, smuggling, human trafficking, and most criminal activities that involve imprisonment for 180 days or more);
- Foreign nationals who committed polygamy and/or committed adultery;
- Failure to properly comply with IRS laws regarding taxes.
- Males that failed to register with the Selective Service;
- Foreign nationals who have committed and have been convicted of one or more crimes involving moral turpitude under INA Section 101(f);
- Foreign nationals who have committed and have been convicted of two or more offenses for which they were sentenced to five years or more of imprisonment;
- Foreign nationals who have committed or been convicted of an aggravated felony under INA Section 101(a)(43);
- Foreign nationals who have committed and have been convicted of two or more illegal gambling offenses or who have earned his or her principal income from illegal gambling, such as a booker;
- Foreign nationals who have been habitual drunkards (repeated convictions for DWI or public intoxications);
- Failure to pay court-ordered child support;
- Foreign nationals who filed false information for the purpose of immigration benefits.
- Knowledge and Understanding of The Fundamentals of U.S. History and Government The applicant must possess knowledge and understanding of the fundamentals of U.S. history and government. Previously, this was determined by the administration of a multiple choice test or oral tests. As stated, beginning October 1, 2008, all applicants will be required to pass the History and Civic Exam under the new test and all applicants will be given an oral exam. Thus, applicants must be sure to understand the questions and not just memorization. Often the officers will ask the same question in a different style of questioning, intended to confuse those that memorized questions and answers.
- Language Requirement The applicant must have an ability to read, write, and speak ordinary (simple) English. This is determined by testing administered by an Adjudicating Officer. In addition to an oral English examination, the applicant may also be required to read and write simple English sentences. Those that are qualified under the Medical Disability Waiver, INA section 312, may not have to take the English and/or the History and Civic exam. In addition, the English requirements are also waived for those who are at least 50 years old at the time of filing and have been lawful permanent residents for at least 20 years; or those who are at least fifty-five years old and have lived as U.S. permanent residents for at least 15 years.
Please contact an Experienced Immigration And Naturalization Attorney At Garg and Associates, PC prior to filing your applications. As stated, our representations go beyond filing documents. Our attorneys will take the time to prepare your applications, including a detailed cover letter explaining your qualifications, exhibit package, and letter of representation, including form G-28.
If you or someone you know is need of immigration law services, please do not hesitate to call Garg & Associates at 281-362-2865 for a consultation today or use our Contact Form.
- Business Immigration Matters
- Travel/Visitor Visas B1 and B-2
- Investors/Treaty Visas E1, E2 and E-3
- Immigrant Worker Petitions, EB-5
- Student Visas F-1 and M-1
- Temporary/Specialty Worker Visas H1-B
- Cultural Exchange Visas J-1
- Fiance /Marriage Visas K-1 and K-3
- Intra-company Transfer Visas L-1 A & B
- Extraordinary Ability Visas O-1
- Religious Worker Visas R-1
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- Naturalization/US Citizenship
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- Deferred Action/Dreamers
- Removal/Deportation, TPS, Asylum
- Consular Processing (outside USA)
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