The Paths To U.S. Citizenship

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Becoming a citizen of the United States of America is something people all around the world dream of and strive for. There are many paths to citizenship in our country but the laws that cover each of these paths can be extremely difficult to comprehend for someone not familiar with the laws of the United States. For that reason, it is important that you or someone you know who is seeking U.S. citizenship consult an immigration lawyer in Dallas for help in understanding and navigating sometimes complicated laws.

Permanent Residency must be established by living in the United States for at least 5 years. Permanent residents or green card holders must also be at least 18 years of age and must be able to write, read and speak English and have a knowledge of the U.S. government (civics) and history. In addition to a list of other qualifications, you must be a person of good moral character.

Being the spouse of a U.S. citizen may qualify you for naturalization if you have been a permanent resident for at least 3 years and have been married to the citizen for those years. You must also meet the same eligibility requirements that people seeking citizenship based solely on permanent residency must meet. An immigration lawyer in Dallas will tell you that it is also possible to seek U.S. citizenship if your spouse is a citizen employed abroad.

Serving in the U.S. military allows people two avenues to citizenship – peacetime naturalization and naturalization during a time of hostilities. Service members in the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, some components of the National Guard and Selected Reserve of the Ready Reserve can qualify for citizenship during peacetime if they have been permanent residents of the United States for at least 1 year. There is no time component during a time of hostilities. Both must also meet the general requirements for permanent residents seeking citizenship. There is no age requirement for this path and the process can be expedited.

Being the child of a U.S. citizen confers citizenship on children either at birth or before the age of 18. The easiest way to obtain citizenship at birth is to be born to two U.S. citizens, at least one of whom lived in the United States or its territories prior to the birth. But the other rules for citizenship based on parental citizenship are many and complicated and if you have questions about this path to citizenship, you should consult an immigration lawyer in Dallas.

The Christensen Law Firm in Dallas, TX has many years of experience with immigration law and can help you to understand and navigate the complicated immigration laws of the United States. In addition, we can help you to either pass your citizenship exam or obtain an exemption or waiver. Visit to learn more about immigration law and the services we provide. Call (972) 497-1017 to make an appointment today.

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