U.S. Citizenship

Issues of citizenship seem simple, but can be surprisingly complex. If you meet certain requirements, you may be eligible for U.S. citizenship at birth or later in your life. Cella & Associates has helped many people become U.S. Citizens and as well as with other issues of U.S. Citizenship, naturalization, and dual citizenship.

The following are the requirements to become a citizen at birth:

  • You must have been born in the United States or certain territories or outlying possessions of the United States, which are subject to the jurisdiction of the United States; OR
  • Your parent or parents were citizens at the time of your birth (if you were born abroad) and meet certain other requirements.

The following are the requirements to become a citizen after birth:

  • You must file an application for “derived” or “acquired” citizenship through your parents; OR
  • You must file an application for naturalization after you certain satisfy residence and physical presence requirements. In the naturalization application you must prove your “good moral character.”

The Naturalization Test:

Most naturalization applicants are required to take a test on English and Civics (U.S. History and Government). Few applicants are allowed to bypass the testing requirement. The criteria to bypass the testing requirement is as follows:

  • If you are over 55 years old and have been an legal permanent resident for at least 15 years; OR
  • If you are over 50 years old and have been an LPR for at least 20 years; OR
  • If you qualify for a medical waiver

At Cella & Associates, we will evaluate your specific situation and provide resources to help you prepare for naturalization or seek an appropriate waiver.

Citizenship for Military Members and Dependents:

Members and veterans of the U.S. armed forces and their dependents may be eligible for special naturalization provisions.

Dual Citizenship:

There are instances where a person desires to have citizenship of two countries. For example, a U.S. citizen may acquire foreign citizenship through marriage, or a person naturalized as a U.S. citizen may have a citizenship in another country prior to naturalization.

Currently, United States law does not mention dual nationality or require a person to choose one citizenship over another. If a person is granted another citizenship automatically, they do risk losing their U.S. citizenship. However, if a person proactively and voluntarily applies for and acquires a foreign citizenship then that person’s U.S. Citizenship may be in danger. In order to lose your U.S. citizenship, the law requires that a person must apply for a foreign citizenship voluntarily, by free choice, and with the intention to give up U.S. citizenship.

The attorneys of Cella and Associates have been helping their clients obtain U.S. Citizenship for years, and they can surely help you. Contact our law office to have a consultation regarding your immigration matter.