Among the consequences of the current administration's stance on immigration law are additional delays and complications in the immigration and naturalization process. Another consequence is that an increasing number of immigrants have found themselves targets of enforcement action and workplace discrimination.
In many cases, our Indiana immigration attorneys are fielding inquiries about a proper path to citizenship. By being proactive about your immigration status, you can reduce the chances of serious legal problems down the road. Obtaining U.S. citizenship for those without U.S. lineage is typically done through the nationalization process.
There are three ways someone can become a U.S. citizen:
- Jus Soli: This is legal speak for being born here. Those born on U.S. soil are automatically U.S. citizens.
- Derivation or Acquisition: Applies to determination of citizenship for children born outside the U.S., born outside the U.S. and out of wedlock, and derivative citizenship of lawful permanent resident children who gain citizenship through parents.
- Naturalization: The Immigration and Nationality Act establishes the process of granting U.S. citizenship to U.S. nationals.
U.S. Citizenship Criteria for Indiana Residents
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Path to U.S. Citizenship outlines the naturalization process. Requirements to apply for citizenship include:
- Be at least 18 years old and have held a valid green card for at least 5 years.
- Have lived in your state at least three months and been a U.S. resident for at least 5 years immediately before filing.
- Reside continually in U.S. from date of application until naturalization.
- Be able to read, write and speak English and have an understanding of U.S. history and government.
- Be a person of good moral character.
Legal Help for U.S. Citizenship Applicants
An Indianapolis immigration attorney can offer a confidential review of your current status and can help you determine the best course of action when it comes to seeking citizenship for you or a family member. We are also aggressive in protecting your rights when it comes to dealing with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
In many cases, acquiring a so-called green card will be the first step toward citizenship. Green Cards are Permanent Resident Cards that will give you the right to live and work in the United States. Green Cards are good for 10 years and can be renewed.
Applying for a Green Card can be a complex process. You can apply for a green card through family, employment or as a special immigrant. There are also green cards available for certain refugees, and victims of human trafficking, abuse or other crimes.
In other cases, fighting criminal charges or seeking an expungement of a minor criminal record might be necessary before filing to become a naturalized citizen.
Hiring experienced legal help can reduce delays, relieve stress and limit the chances of legal sanctions, including deportation. For help with gaining US citizenship, speak to an experienced immigration attorney at Hocker & Associates LLC.