Welcome to the Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram. We’re delighted to have you join us for our video presentation on US Citizenship. In this presentation series, we’re going to talk about how to acquire US Citizenship and why it’s important to apply for US Citizenship as soon as you become eligible to protect your family.
Acquiring US Citizenship
Typically, obtaining US Citizenship is the final stage in ones immigration journey. It’s not possible to skip all of the other immigration stages and just start with a US Citizenship application, except under a few very narrow exceptions. For example, it’s sometimes possible to adopt a child and that child (depending on age), immediately becomes a US Citizen.
Most of us will move from green card status to US Citizenship status. Congress has passed a series of statutes that govern how quickly and under what circumstances green card holders can apply for US Citizenship.
Green Card by Marriage and Green Card by Employment
Generally speaking, if you acquired your green card through marriage, then you can qualify for US Citizenship upon the third anniversary of your green card being issued. If you acquired your green card having been sponsored by a family, employer or self-sponsorship, then you qualify for US Citizenship upon the fifth anniversary of your green card. However, there are a number of conditions to be satisfied in order for your application to be successful.
Good Moral Character
You have to be able to demonstrate that having been given the privilege of a green card you have lived to a standard worthy of being granted US Citizenship. In a nutshell, what US Immigration is looking for here for the most part, is an absence of serious criminal history involving crimes of moral turpitude.
It’s difficult to sum up the scope of what is meant here, but basically, if you have been in and out of the criminal justice system due to criminal behavior, it’s probably not a good idea to consider US Citizenship until you’ve kept a clean record for at least five years. Nevertheless, it’s important that you discuss all of your issues of the law with a specialist criminal-immigration attorney.
Good moral character will also include paying all of your taxes and/or be in a payment plan with the Internal Revenue Service to pay all of your taxes. It’s a requirement upon everyone living permanently in the US to pay taxes. So if you’re not doing that, then it’s an issue.
Absences from the US
If you’ve been absent from the US during your green card status, it may affect the waiting period as to when you become eligible to apply for US Citizenship. There are three bands of time where different rules will apply.
– Away up to Six Months
– Away More than Six Months but Less than 12 Months
– Away More than 12 months
In the next presentation we’ll discuss the implications of these periods of absence, so please click on part two.
US Immigration Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram
Chris M. Ingram LL.M., ESQ – Immigration Attorney
Admitted in New York.
Practice Specializing in US Immigration Law
401 Wilshire Boulevard, 12th Floor,
[Cross Streets 4th and Wilshire]
Tel: 310 496 4292
Everyday the Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram provides a comprehensive range of US Immigration expertise. We also provide a free consultation for our prospective clients.
Please note that nothing contained in this website or link therefrom shall be regarded as providing legal advice. Please contact us directly for legal advice specific to your situation. Thank You.
Specializing in the E2 Visa, EB1 Green Card, L-1A Visa and O1 Visa and K1 Visa Marriage-Based Immigration. Attorney Chris M. Ingram is dedicated to providing the very best in US Immigration legal representation. Enjoy our website.
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