Naturalization and Citizenship
Naturalization is the process whereby lawful permanent residents (those with a green card) become American citizens upon satisfying certain requirements. It is not mandatory that aliens become citizens; indeed, many green card holders elect to remain in the U.S. without applying for naturalization. Nonetheless, it has become wise in recent years that persons do apply for naturalization as soon as they are eligible for it. The reason is that legislation in the late 1990's makes it easier to strip a person of his or her lawful permanent status in certain situations.
To become a naturalized citizen, a green card holder must have been lawfully admitted into the United States and must have resided in the U.S. for five years (three years for spouses of U.S. citizens). There is an exception made for aliens who have served in the military and were discharged honorably during time of war provided certain conditions are met. For those, residency and obtaining the green card is not a pre-condition towards naturalization.
Residency can best be understood to mean that the person must have considered the U.S. to be his or her home. In addition to the residency requirement, the person must have been physically present within the United States for a total of at least one half of the time required for residency. Also, subject to certain exceptions, the alien must be able to read, write, and speak ordinary English. One must also exhibit knowledge and understanding of some fundamental issues related to the United States government and history.
Furthermore, applicants for naturalization must show good moral character. Therefore, prospective applicants for naturalization who may have any type of an encounter with the law or criminal history should investigate carefully their options prior to submitting the application for naturalization. Otherwise, they could find themselves faced with the prospect of deportation instead of naturalization.
Applicants for naturalization can apply usually within 90 days prior to completing their residency requirements and must continue to have residency in the U.S. (but not necessarily physical presence) throughout the actual attainment of U.S. citizenship. Aliens' children may be derivatively allowed to naturalize through the naturalization of their parents.
The naturalization application is submitted through USCIS and several attachments. Depending on the local USCIS office, the application may take between one and two years to complete. An interview with a friendly USCIS officer is always required to demonstrate the required competencies and verify the information in the applications. It is culminated by the oath ceremony upon which the alien becomes a naturalized United States citizen.
The Law Firm of Antone, Casagrande & Adwers, P.C. helps individuals and businesses worldwide with all of their US immigration needs including employment visas, obtaining green cards for business and corporate employees and family members, visas for doctors, nurses, therapists, and other health care workers, together with waivers for physicians under J visa training program, labor certifications (PERM), national interest waivers, marriage-based adjustments and green cards, fiancee visas, family immigration preferences, students, naturalization and citizenship, including medical waivers, asylum, deportation, hardship waivers, voluntary departure and removal. We serve clients in southeast Michigan including the Detroit Metro area, Ann Arbor, and Lansing. With offices in Farmington Hills, MI, we are close to Southfield, Troy, West Bloomfield, Birmingham, Novi, Rochester and Auburn Hills in Oakland County; Canton, Plymouth, Dearborn, and Detroit in Wayne County; Warren, Sterling Heights, and Mount Clemens in Macomb County; Brighton and Howell in Livingston County; Lansing in Ingham County; City of Monroe in Monroe County, Ann Arbor in Washtenaw County; Grand Rapids in Kent County; Battle Creek in Calhoun County; Kalamazoo in Kalamazoo County; Benton Harbor in Berrien County; Holland in Ottawa County; Flint in Genesee County; Ludington in Mason County; Muskegon in Muskegon County; and Traverse City in Grand Traverse County, Michigan. Although many of our clients are located in the tri-county area of Wayne, Oakland and Macomb, we also serve clients in many cities and states in the U.S. including Cleveland, Toledo and Cincinnati, Ohio; Chicago, Illinois; Milwaukee and Green Bay, Wisconsin; Indianapolis, Indiana; Buffalo, New York; Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego, California; Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona; Dallas, Houston, El Paso and Galveston, Texas; Miami, Florida; Washington D.C.; Virginia, Minnesota, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and many others. In addition to the United States, we also serve Canadian nationals from numerous provinces in Canada, including Toronto and Windsor in Ontario; Montreal in Quebec; Halifax in Nova Scotia; and Vancouver, British Columbia. We also serve cities and countries such as London, England; Scotland and other countries of the United Kingdom (U.K.); Mexico, Paris, France; Frankfurt and Berlin, Germany; Tokyo, Japan; India; Brazil; Rome, Italy; Shanghai and Beijing, China; Belgium; the Philippines, and many other countries in Europe, Asia and South America.