Who Can Apply for U.S. Citizenship? – San Diego Immigration Lawyer

U.S. citizenship gives a person as many rights as the U.S. has to offer; for example, the right to vote, petition for family members to immigrate, and live abroad without losing the right to return. For these reasons, citizenship is not easily obtained.
To become a U.S. citizen through the process known as naturalization, you must first have a green card (permanent residence) and then meet other requirements, listed below. There are only a few rare exceptions in which a person goes straight from having no U.S. status to getting U.S. citizenship;

The Eligibility Criteria
If you are interested in applying for U.S. citizenship, first make sure that all of the following apply to you:

You have lived in the United States as a lawful permanent resident for at least five years (with exceptions for refugees, people who get their green card through asylum, spouses of U.S. citizens, and U.S. military personnel);
You have been physically present in the United States for at least half of the last five years;
You have lived in the district or state where you are filing your application for at least three months;
You have not spent more than a year outside the United States;
You have not made your primary home in another country;
You are at least 18 years old;
You have good moral character;
You are able to speak, read, and write in English;
You are able to pass a test covering U.S. history and government (based on questions provided by USCIS); and
You are willing to swear that you believe in the principles of the U.S. Constitution and will be loyal to the United States.

Please be advised that applying for citizenship opens your whole immigration history to review. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will carefully investigate your background. If it discovers something wrong — for example, that you used fraud to get your green card or abandoned your residency by making your home outside the United States, it can strip you of your green card and send you out of the country.

For more information: http://www.immigrationlawyer-sandiego.com

San Diego Immigration Lawyer
Law Offices of Hasbini


San Diego Immigration Lawyer – Marriage-based Green Card (Article 1) http://www.immigrationlawyer-sandiego.com

San Diego Immigration Lawyer – Marriage-based Green Card (Article 1) http://www.immigrationlawyer-sandiego.com

San Diego Immigration Lawyer
If you are married to a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, you can apply for U.S. lawful permanent residence, otherwise known as a marriage-based immigrant visa or green card. To be eligible under U.S. immigration law, you and your spouse must show that you are:

• Legally married;
• In a bona fide marriage (not a sham to get a green card);
• Married to a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident; and
• That neither you nor your spouse are married to anyone else

To qualify for a marriage-based visa or green card, you must be legally married. A legal marriage is one that is officially recognized by the government in the country or state where you were married. This usually means that an official record of your marriage has been made or can be obtained from some government office.

For this reason, domestic partnerships, in which a couple lives together but have not formalized their relationship, are not normally recognized for immigration purposes. However, if you have lived together in a place that recognizes common law marriages, you may be able to show that you met the requirements for your marriage to be legally recognized in that state or country.

You do not need to have been married in the U.S. for your marriage to be considered legal and apply for marriage-based Green Card. It is perfectly acceptable if you marry in your home country or in some other destination of your choice. A variety of marriage procedures may also be recognized, from church weddings to customary tribal practices, for green card purposes, if recognized as valid in that country.

But note that both you and your spouse must have actually attended your wedding ceremony for green card purposes. So-called “proxy” marriages, where another person stands in for the bride or groom, are not recognized by the U.S. government unless the couple later consummates the marriage afterward, meaning they have sexual relations.

If you have not yet married, make sure you are eligible to do so before you apply for marriage-based green card. The state or federal government where you intend to marry may have legal restrictions on who can marry. In the United States, each of the 50 states establishes its own marriage rules. For example, in some states you must be 18 years of age to marry, while in others you can marry younger if you can have the consent of your parents. All states prohibit a person from marrying a sister or brother (sibling), half sibling, parent, grandparent, great grandparent, child, grandchild, great grandchild, aunt, uncle, niece, or nephew. Some states have additional prohibitions, such as on marrying a first cousin.