Nashville Naturalization Attorneys
Naturalization is the process of granting U.S. citizenship to a foreign citizen or national who complies with all of the requirements established by Congress. This process is different for individuals based on their category of application.
Obtaining U.S. Citizenship through Naturalization
The law office of Saenz & Maniatis, PLLC, in Nashville, Tennessee, helps clients throughout the United States complete all the steps necessary to obtain U.S. citizenship. You first want to determine if you are already a United States citizen. For some people with a U.S. citizen parent, they may already be a U.S. citizen. Those individuals can apply for a Certificate of Citizenship as proof of their status. If you are not already a U.S. citizen, you must meet specific criteria, the main items of which are outlined below.
What are the requirements for U.S. Citizenship?
If your non-citizen spouse is currently in the United States and entered the country with a visa, he or she can apply for permanent residency (green card) through a process called “adjustment of status.” This process includes filing several forms simultaneously with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services accompanied by supporting documentation.
- 5 Years of Permanent Residency. Generally, you must have been a permanent resident for 5 years prior to your application. However, if you obtained your permanent residency through marriage your wait time is reduced to 3 years. If you file based upon the 3-year category, you must also prove that you’ve maintained a genuine marital relationship.
- Continuous Residence. You must maintain continuous residence in the United States during your applicable 5-year or 3-year time period. Any extended travel outside of the United States could not only jeopardize your application, but can be grounds for your permanent residency to be revoked. Permanent residency is not “permanent” and you must therefore maintain residency in the United States to keep it, and to later obtain citizenship.
- Be a Person of Good Moral Character. The officer examining your application for naturalization will also look into your past to determine whether you have good moral character. The 5 years preceding will be intensely examined, and by statute you can be denied for criminal convictions, failure to pay child or spousal support, unlawful voting, failure to file taxes, and fraud. The interviewing officer can look back beyond the 5-year period however, and any criminal conviction—even those that have been expunged—are subject to scrutiny and may result in a denial. Hiring an attorney to proactively combat any issues related to good moral character is recommended.
- Pass the English and Civics Exams. At your interview you must not only prove you are eligible for naturalization, but that you can competently read, write and speak English, as well as pass the U.S. civics exam. This exam is a test covering America’s history, principles, and form of government. You are asked 10 questions out of a pool of 100, and must correctly answer 6 out of the 10. If approved, your case will be scheduled for an Oath Ceremony. You are not officially a U.S. citizen until you are sworn in at your ceremony.
Expedited Citizenship for Members of the U.S. Armed Services
Members of the U.S. Armed Services are able to apply for citizenship through an expedited naturalization process. Military members do not have to establish the residency requirements mentioned above. They are still required to show good moral character, however the window of review can be shortened, which may impact the outcome of the case. Spouses of members of the U.S. Armed Services who are deployed can also be eligible for expedited naturalization.
Dedicated To Your Success
The firm’s founding attorneys, Vanessa Saenz and Matt Maniatis, are dedicated to their clients’ success. They understand immigration laws and procedures, and how to navigate the confusing U.S. immigration system. Saenz & Maniatis, PLLC, will work hard to complete the necessary paperwork accurately and completely, meet filing deadlines, and complete every step as quickly as possible. The attorneys and staff at the firm are open and honest, communicate promptly, and keep clients apprised of all important developments in their cases in a timely manner.
Saenz & Maniatis, PLLC, follows direction from clients, and encourages clients to speak openly and honestly about their circumstances and histories to better help them obtain immigration relief.
Contact Saenz & Maniatis, PLLC
The firm’s goal is the same as yours – to bring your loved one to the U.S. so you can live together permanently. For more information, contact a Nashville marriage visa lawyers online or by calling 615-366-1211 or 615-366-1611.