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Citizenship and Naturalization


If you are a permanent resident of the United States, you may be eligible to apply for citizenship through naturalization. Securing U.S. citizenship through naturalization allows you to enjoy the full rights and responsibilities of those who acquired citizenship through birth.

Among other benefits, you will be eligible to vote, apply for certain federal government jobs that require citizenship, avoid the risk of deportation, and sponsor eligible family members for permanent residence.

Eligibility for U.S. Citizenship Through Naturalization

Although certain exceptions apply, you are eligible to apply for U.S. citizenship if you can demonstrate the following:

  • You are a U.S. lawful permanent resident;
  • You are at least 18 years old;
  • You have continuously resided in the United States as a lawful permanent resident for at least five years (three years if you are married to a U.S. citizen);
  • You have lived in the state where you will file for naturalization for at least three months;
  • You will live in the United States from the date you file your naturalization application until the date you receive citizenship;
  • You are a person of good moral character;
  • You have a basic understanding of the English language, in both reading and writing; and
  • You have a basic knowledge of U.S. government and history.

Keep in mind that you may be eligible for citizenship through derivation if:

  • You were born outside the United States, but at least one of your parents is a U.S. citizen; or
  • You were born outside the United States, but your parents were naturalized.

How will a Criminal Conviction Affect Your Status?

If you have been convicted of a crime, you may not be eligible for naturalization. A criminal conviction can either disqualify you for naturalization, or raise a serious issue about whether you are a person of good moral character.

Our attorneys have extensive experience in both immigration and criminal defense matters and are uniquely qualified to advise you on your eligibility for naturalization, and guide you safely through the process.

To schedule a consultation, contact us online or call us locally at (520) 882-8852 or in Tempe, call us at (480) 933-8941.