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Naturalization & Citizenship

Helping Immigrants Become U.S. Citizens

The United States is a nation primarily made up of immigrants and the descendants of immigrants, and new citizens have always played an important role. There are, however, some fairly rigorous procedures for permanent resident non-citizens to gain citizenship through naturalization.

At the immigration law firm of Yeager & Etkind — with offices in Rockville, Maryland; Washington, D.C.; and Arlington and McLean, Virginia — we guide clients through the naturalization process. Contact us to discuss your goals with a knowledgeable attorney.

Demonstrating Why You Should Be Approved

Generally, people who have lived in the United States as lawful permanent residents for enough time are eligible for naturalization so they can become U.S. citizens. However, there are certain things in your record that may cause Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) to deny your naturalization application, including the following:

  • Obtaining a green card illegitimately
  • Making false claims of being a U.S. citizen
  • Leaving the country for extensive amounts of time
  • Failing to gain knowledge of U.S. history and government
  • Demonstrating poor moral character
  • Defaulting on student loans or failing to pay taxes
  • Failing to care for your children

CIS has some discretion in this area, so it is important to work with an attorney to clarify your record, document the reasons why you deserve to be approved for naturalization, and make your case to the appropriate authorities.

Understanding the Time Frame for Naturalization

Generally, lawful permanent residents are eligible for naturalization after living in the United States on an employment-based, family-based or other green card for five years. However, the spouses of U.S. citizens and active duty members of the military may apply for naturalization after only three years of green card status.

If you are interested in becoming a U.S. citizen, don't hesitate to contact us to discuss your circumstances and options with an experienced immigration lawyer.