If you live in one of these areas or the surrounding areas,our office is ready to help you through the Naturalization process.
St. Tammany – Covington, Mandeville, Madisonville, Slidell, Abita Springs
Tangipahoa – Hammond, Amite, Kentwood, Independence, Ponchatoula
Jefferson and Orleans – Metairie, Kenner, New Orleans, Harahan, Terrytown, Westwego
St. Bernard – Arabi, Chalmette, Poydras, Meraux, Violet
Lafourche – Thibodaux, Lockport, Golden Meadow, Kraemer
Terrebonne – Houma
U.S. Citizenship is acquired, 1) either at birth in one of the states of the United States or in a U.S. territory or possession that is subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, e.g., Puerto Rico, Guam, the Marshall Islands, etc.; 2) having at least one parent who is a U.S. Citizen; or, 3) by going through the Naturalization process.
If you are not A U.S. Citizen by birth, the first step in becoming a Naturalized U.S. Citizen is to acquire status as a Lawful Permanent Resident (“LPR” or “Green Card”). With rare exception, no one becomes a Naturalized U.S. Citizen without having first qualified for a Green Card. You can learn more about the different types of Green Cards by clicking here.
The process toward becoming a Naturalized U.S. Citizen requires an applicant to have held a Green Card for at least 5 years or to have been legally married to a United States Citizen for 3 years before submitting a N-400 “Application For Naturalization”. NOTE: There is a separate process by which foreign nationals can serve in the U.S. Military and by way of that service, qualify to become a Naturalized U.S. Citizen (Sections 328 and 329 of the Immigration and Nationality Act).
To qualify for Naturalization, you must meet the following requirements:
- You must have “Continuous Residence”, i.e., live in the United States as a permanent resident (“LPR”) for 5 years (3 years if married to a U.S. citizen). The beginning of the 5 year period (60 months) is the date you became a permanent resident. If you leave the U.S. for more than 6 months, your “Continuous Residence” may be broken. Our firm can help you calculate your “Continuous Residence” months and days.
- You must show you had “Physical Presence” in the U.S. for at least 30 months of the last 60 months (18 months of 36 months for persons married to a U.S. Citizen). Any time spent outside of the U.S. may reduce your “Physical Presence” requirement. Our firm can help you calculate whether you have sufficient “Physical Presence” to qualify for Naturalization.
- You must live in the state or United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (“USCIS”) district for at least 3 months before applying for Naturalization. Students can apply either where they attend school or where their family resides (if they depend on the family for support).
- Be a Person of Good Moral Character. You cannot have committed crimes involving “Moral Turpitude” during the 5 years before submitting your application for Naturalization. Examples of such crimes are: drunk driving, habitual drunkenness, illegal gambling, selling or distributing illegal drugs, prostitution, failing to pay child support or alimony, domestic violence, lying on any application for immigration benefits.
- Successfully take and pass an English and Civics test. The English test measures a person’s ability to understand, read, write and speak basic English. The Civics test measures a person’s basic knowledge of U.S. history and government. NOTE: There are certain English language and Civics Test exemptions for LPRs who are 50/55/65 years of age and who have lived in the U.S. as a LPR for 15 or 20 years. Our firm can assist you in finding whether you qualify for an exemption.
You must be willing to support and defend the United States and its Constitution. You become a U.S. Citizen when you take the Oath of Allegiance, which is different from the Pledge of Allegiance at a Naturalization Ceremony.
Upon becoming a U.S. Citizen, you acquire many more rights and privileges than a person who holds a Green Card. For example, you have the RIGHT TO VOTE, the RIGHT TO HOLD A U.S. PASSPORT, you have the RIGHT TO HOLD PUBLIC OFFICE, you have the RIGHT TO PETITION FOR MORE OF YOUR FAMILY AND RELATIVES COME TO AMERICA than a Green Card holder can. And, their immigration to America can happen sooner. But most important, unless you acquired your Naturalized citizenship by fraud or you voluntarily give it up except in rare, unusual circumstances, YOUR U.S. CITIZENSHIP CANNOT BE TAKEN AWAY.
Our firm stands ready to assist you in becoming a UNITED STATES CITIZEN. Click on the “CONTACT US” tab on this page to start the process to becoming an AMERICAN.