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Citizenship

One can achieve Citizenship in the United States of America by either birth or through naturalization. When you are born in the United States, you are automatically a US citizen. You may also be a U.S. Citizen if your were born abroad but one or both of your parents was a U.S. Citizen.

Requirements for Citizenship/Naturalization

Orange County Immigration Lawyer Fermin Valencia will fully explain all the requirements of citizenship, including any waivers or exemptions from these requirements you may be eligible to receive. He will also explain to you the citizenship language and civics test requirements and explain how to prepare for them.

In general, the requirements for citizenship are:

  • A period of continuous residence and physical presence in the United States
  • Residence in a particular USCIS District prior to filing
  • Ability to read, write, and speak English (exceptions for long time permanent residents)
  • Knowledge and understanding of U.S. history and government
  • Good moral character

Benefits of Citizenship

Becoming a naturalized U.S. citizen has many benefits, including:

  • The right to vote
  • The right to hold office
  • The right to bring family members to the U.S.
  • Full Social Security benefits at retirement
  • The ability to travel abroad for as long as you want
  • The right to reenter the country after travel abroad
  • Protection from being deported from the U.S.
  • Eligibility for public assistance and certain types of scholarships

In addition to Naturalization one can be or establish U.S. Citizenship by:

  • By being born in United States.
  • By having citizenship transmitted to them by a parent (called “acquired citizenship”)
  • Through the naturalization of their parent (called derivative citizenship).
  • Recent changes in immigration law and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration (CIS) process now make it easier for people serving in the U.S. military to become citizens.

Once you become a U.S. citizen, you can live and work permanently in the United States, vote in U.S. elections, serve on juries, and hold a U.S. passport. As a U.S. citizen, you can also sponsor your spouse, unmarried children under age 21, and parents as immediate relatives.

For a confidential consultation with the Attorney, Contact Valencia & Associates APC

This post is also available in Español.