Citizenship and Naturalization

Among the most rewarding experiences for a US immigration and naturalization lawyer is to see a client win American citizenship. But the road toward citizenship can sometimes be long and difficult; it takes an experienced and skilled law firm to handle the more challenging cases. Margaret W. Wong & Associates, LLC is one of the premier immigration law firms in the United States. Our attorneys have 200 combined years of experience in immigration issues and have helped tens of thousands of immigrants.

What is Naturalization?

If you are over 18 years old and want to become a U.S. citizen, you will probably have to go through the naturalization process. You must fulfill one of the following circumstances to apply for naturalization:

  • You have U.S. permanent residency (a.k.a. “Green Card”) and have lived in the United States for five years.
  • You have asylum and have lived in the United States for four years.
  • You are the spouse of a U.S. citizen and have lived in the country at least three years.
  • You are a permanent resident, have served in the United States military, and have been in the country for three years.

If you qualify, you must prove that you have sufficient knowledge of U.S. history and government and can speak, read and write in English. Our immigration and naturalization defense lawyers can guide you through this process.

Are There Other Routes to Citizenship?

There are a few ways to become a U.S. citizen without going through naturalization, but most apply only to children. For example, some children born overseas can gain citizenship because their parents are U.S. citizens. However, there is a complex formula determining whether such children can gain citizenship – see our Derivative Citizenship page for more information.

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