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The path from immigrant to U.S. citizen

On Behalf of | Jun 18, 2020 | Immigration Law

The U.S. is a nation of immigrants built on inclusiveness, and its leaders have long recognized that people from all walks of life may improve life here for everyone as well as enjoying the benefits of citizenship. 

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services hit an 11-year high number of naturalized citizens in 2019, with 834,000 immigrants taking the oath of citizenship. 

Applying for a green card 

Without a permanent resident card, or green card, an individual may not work or enjoy the privileges of living in the U.S. To obtain a green card, however, he or she needs to meet certain requirements. Family relationships represent some of the most well-recognized pathways to obtaining a green card. 

An individual married to a U.S. citizen could apply for a family visa and obtain permanent residency. Children under the age of 21 with a parent who has citizenship can receive a green card. If a parent has a child over the age of 21 who became a naturalized citizen, he or she has the ability to petition for permanent residency. 

Maintaining eligibility for residency 

After receiving a green card, certain actions could make an individual eligible for deportation. To avoid losing the status of a permanent resident, an individual must not commit any unlawful acts. He or she must also be sure to not fail to meet the ongoing requirements. 

When green card holders change their primary residences, they must inform the USCIS of an updated address. Failing to do so could make it harder to achieve citizenship. 

Becoming a naturalized U.S. citizen 

It takes at least five years of living in the U.S. as a permanent resident to apply for naturalization. An individual must have resided in Colorado for a minimum of three months before applying for U.S. citizenship in the state. The process includes testing an applicant’s ability to speak, read and write English. The test also includes a section on basic U.S. civics, which covers an understanding of American history and government.