Naturalization, U.S. Derivative Citizenship & Naturalization Waivers
There are four basic ways in which a person can become a U.S. citizen. First, a person can become a U.S. citizen through birth within the U.S. 50 states or its territories. Those that are born on Indian reservations and U.S. territories such as Guam, U.S. Virgin Islands, U.S. Samoa Islands, and Puerto Rico must first enter the U.S. after the age of 18 and take an oath prior to becoming a U.S. citizen. The second way in which a person can become a U.S. citizen is through naturalization. The third way a person can become a U.S. citizen is through the acquisition of citizenship based on their parent’s U.S. citizenship status. Acquisition applies to children of U.S. nationals who were born abroad. Under the Child Citizenship Act of 2000, any child to turn 18 on or after the effective date of the Act with at least 1 U.S. citizen parent abroad can obtain U.S. citizenship once he/she arrived in the U.S. Fourth, a person can also obtain citizenship through derivative citizenship. That is, a person that is currently in the U.S. can derive his or her citizenship from one or both of the parents. Before the Child Citizenship Act of 2000, both parents must be U.S. citizens prior to the child turning 18 before he or she can claim derivative citizenship. After the enactment of the Act, only 1 parent needs to be a U.S. citizen.
The New York Naturalization Attorneys and the New York Naturalization Application Lawyers at Figeroux & Associates are experienced immigration lawyers who assisted hundreds of applicants to successfully file their immigration and naturalization applications. Our New York Medical Disability Waiver Lawyers and our New York Naturalization Waiver Attorneys have assisted numerous applicants to successfully obtain waivers based on their medical conditions. Further, Figeroux & Associates in partnership with the Immigrant’s Journal Legal & Educational Fund, Inc., have assisted many immigrants in New York City, with their citizenship applications for free. Finally, our New York U.S. Citizenship Application Attorneys have given many seminars in the community about citizenship issues and voting responsibilities.
Laws Governing U.S. Citizenships The U.S.
Constitution and the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 defined who is a U.S. citizen. U.S. citizenships that are derived from the U.S. Constitution are referred to as “Constitutional Citizenship.” Constitutional citizenships are those that are native born (jus solis) or those that become U.S. citizens through naturalization. U.S. citizenships that are derived (Derivative Citizenship) or acquired (Acquisition of Citizenship) from parents who obtained naturalization is referred to as “Statutory Citizenship,” such as the Child Citizenship Act of 2000. Statutory Citizenships obtain their status through U.S. citizen parents by virtue of blood relations (Jus Sanguinis). Although statutory citizens and constitutional citizens have the same basic rights. Statutory citizens may lose their citizenship rights under some triggered events, such as there is a change in the Immigration and Naturalization Act or if their parents lose their citizenships by denouncing or through the acquisition of citizenship through another country.
What Are The Requirements For Naturalization Applications?
To be naturalized, the applicant must be at least 18 years of age. The person must have been a permanent resident (green-card holder) for at least five continuous years, or three years if the person married a U.S. citizen. Within these three or five years, the person must have resided in the U.S. for at least one half (½) of the time. That is, if the person is married to a U.S. citizen, at least 18 of the 36 months previous to filing the application must be present in the U.S. However, some exceptions are allowed if the U.S. citizen spouse are in the armed forces or work for a U.S. organization abroad. Be sure to contact the New York Naturalization Application Attorneys and the Southwest New York Naturalization Lawyers at Figeroux & Associates. for more information.
Other naturalization applicants must reside in the U.S. for at least 30 months of the 60 months previous to filing a naturalization application (form N-400). In addition, the person must not be one that can be removed from the U.S., such as those that committed an aggravated felony or a crime involving moral turpitude (CIMT). Further, the applicant must demonstrate that he or she has good moral character. Criminal convictions vice acts, polygamy or adultery, nonpayment of taxes, theft, and fraud-related crimes, habitual drunkard, illegal gambling, and failure to pay child-support are all considered as having “bad moral character.” Although the conviction of these crimes within the immediate 5 years prior to the application is a statutory bar from naturalization, Adjudicating Officers may also look at convictions outside of this mandatory period to determine whether there is a pattern of criminal activities that can determine as bad moral character. Finally, the person must demonstrate he/she is attached to the U.S. Constitution and demonstrate basic knowledge of English and the U.S. Constitution and History. Please contact the New York Naturalization Attorneys of Figeroux & Associates for a consultation and filing your naturalization application, at (855) 768-8845.
Naturalization Applications Waivers
There are a few exceptions to the naturalization requirements stated above. A permanent resident, who has been living in the U.S. for at least 20 years and is at least 50 years of age or older at the time of filing, can take the naturalization examination in their native language. A person that is at least 55 years of age enjoys this same standard if he or she has been a permanent resident for at least 15 years. As such, if qualified, a person may be waived from taking the English oral and written examinations. Further, they can take the civic exam regarding U.S. history and government in their own native language. In addition, senior citizens 65 years of age or older may take a much more relaxed naturalization examination, by answering a few questions from a list of 10 – 20 simplified questions. Lastly, a person may be waived from the examination requirement all together if he or she was diagnosed by a qualified physician of an illness falls in the DSM IV Manual of Mental Disorder, including Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Bi-polar, dementia, amnesia, psychosis, schizophrenia, etc.
To file a Naturalization Application Waiver, the physician must fill out the N-648 application and submit to the Adjudicating Officer before or at the time of the interview. N-600 applications must be within 180 days from the date of examination to the date of the naturalization interview. Because form N-648 is susceptible to fraud, USCIS will carefully review and scrutinize the application. The New York Naturalization Attorneys and the New York Naturalization Lawyers at Figeroux & Associates are experienced in preparing and successfully filing Medical Disability Waiver, N-648 Medical Certification for Disability Exception. Our New York N-648 Naturalization Waiver Attorneys have worked with the USCIS, the Catholic Charity, and other organization in revising and providing instruction on implementation of the N-640 application. In fact, our New York N-648 Naturalization Exam Waiver Lawyer, Mr. Steven Pham, had provided N-648 Naturalization Waiver seminar and cultural sensitivity training to the Naturalization Adjudication Officers at the New York USCIS District Office. Please contact our New York Naturalization Waiver Attorneys for more information if you feel that you or your loved ones may qualify.
Acquisition of Citizenship For Children of U.S. Citizens Who Were Born Abroad
Acquisition of citizenship refers to those that were born abroad and acquired U.S. citizenship status at birth through 1 or both U.S. citizen parents. Since the effective date of the Child Citizenship Act of 2000, February 27, 2001, those that are born to a U.S. citizen parent, irrespective of in or out of wedlock, and adoptee can obtain U.S. citizenship. Prior to the Child Citizenship Act of 2000, children of in wedlock of both U.S. citizens can acquire U.S. citizenships or derivative citizenship. Click here to learn more about the Child Citizenship Act of 2000 and to learn if you were qualified under the previous provisions of the Immigration and Nationalization Act of 1952.
Derivative U.S. Citizenship
The last way in which a person can become a U.S. citizen is through derivative citizenship. Prior to the Child Citizenship Act of 2000, a child that is under the age of 18 may be a derivative citizen only both parents have been naturalized. Subsequent to the enactment and the effective date of the Child Citizenship Act, the child under the age of 18 is a derivative citizen if at least 1 parent becomes a U.S. citizen. The child must have been a permanent resident or had received an immigrant visa to come to the U.S. To obtain proof of derivative citizenship, the child can file an application with USCIS and apply for a Certificate of Citizenship. After obtaining the Certificate of Citizenship, the child may use this as evidence of a U.S. citizen and apply for a passport with the U.S. Department of State. Please contact our New York Derivative Citizenship Application Attorneys for assistance in preparing and filing your derivative citizenship application. There may be issues, facts, and circumstances that affect your eligibility that you may not be aware of.