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Rhode Island Attorney

Can I Become a United States Citizen?

Becoming a United States Citizen is the goal of many foreign nationals.  This is also referred to as Naturalization.

Once a person Naturalizes or becomes a United States Citizen that person procures all of the rights and privileges conferred by the United States Constitution.  An example of a few of these rights includes the right to vote and live outside of the United States without losing status.

But for many the most important right that becoming a United States Citizen confers is the right to file United States immigration petitions for foreign national family members.  As a United States Citizen you become the conduit for your family members to immigrate to the United States.

In order to become a United States Citizen or to Naturalize, a person must already be a Lawful Permanent Resident of the United States.  That is a prerequisite.  Other criteria include:

1.  The person who seeks to become a United States Citizen must live in the United States as a Lawful Permanent Resident for at least five (5) years.  For those who have obtained their Lawful Permanent Resident status based on marriage to a United States Citizen the requirement is only three (3) years.

2.  The person must have been physically in the United States for at least half of the five (5) or three (3) year time period.

3.  The person must live in the state where he files his Naturalization application for at least three (3) months prior to filing.

4.  The person cannot have lived outside of the United States for more than one (1) year.

5.  The person’s primary home must be in the United States.

6.  The petitioner must be at least eighteen (18) years old.

7.  The person must have Good Moral Character.  This requirement demands its own discussion.

8.  The applicant must be able to speak, read and write English and pass a very easy test on basic United States history and government structure.  Don’t worry about the test.  The applicant gets both the fifty (50) test questions and answers in advance.  At the interview the applicant is asked ten (10) questions and only has to get six (6) correct.  It is really easy.

9.  The petitioner must be willing to swear to the oath supporting the United States Constitution.