U.S. Naturalization

Orlando Naturalization Lawyers

What is Naturalization?

US Naturalization is the process through which a national of a different country can obtain American citizenship.

Requirements for Naturalization

Among the requirements to be able to apply for U.S. naturalization are:

  • Be 18 years old or older at the time of filing Form N-400, Application for Naturalization.
  • Have been a permanent resident (green card holder) of the United States of America for the past 3 years if married to a U.S. citizen and residing with that spouse, or for the past 5 years if you are not married to a U.S. citizen.
  • Have been physically present in the U.S. for at least one-half of the five years, or one-half of the three years if you are a spouse of a U.S. Citizen.
  • Have continuously resided in the U.S. since becoming a legal permanent resident
  • Show that you have lived for at least 3 months in the state or USCIS district where you claim residence.
  • Be a person of good moral character.
  • You are not deportable from the U.S.

However, determining your eligibility is not as simple as it sounds. Certain requirements may vary depending on your age, residence time, marital status, and whether you have served in the U.S. military or not.

Contact us and we will be happy to review your case!

What does “Continuous Residence” Mean?

Continuous residence means that the applicant has been legally in the country for a certain period, usually 5 years. As a general rule, USCIS will consider that you have broken the continuous residence requirement for naturalization purposes if you stay abroad for over 6 months at a time.

Difference Between Naturalization and Citizenship

Children born within the country (also applies to certain U.S. territories), or those whose parents were citizens at the time of their birth, even if born abroad, are considered citizens from the time of their birth. They do not need to go through any additional process to receive the rights and responsibilities of a U.S. citizen.

Nationals to whom the above does not apply, but meet the requirements established by Congress in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), may obtain citizenship after birth through Naturalization.,/p>

Privileges of Becoming a U.S. Citizen

Naturalized citizens share the same rights and responsibilities as natural-born citizens. They can:

  • Vote in federal elections.
  • Travel on a U.S. passport.
  • Run for elected office where citizenship is required.
  • Serve on a jury.
  • Be eligible for certain law enforcement jobs.
  • Obtain state and federal benefits unavailable to non-citizens.
  • Obtain citizenship for foreign-born minor children.
  • The ability to bring family members to the United States.


US Naturalization Lawyers

Naturalization Process Step by Step

Step 1: Filling the Application

If you meet the criteria established by Congress in the Immigration and Nationality Act, you can file an Application for Naturalization (Form N-400) and pay the filing fee (unless exempt) to begin the process. You can do this either through the mail or online.

You will also need:

  • Documents showing your eligibility for naturalization.
  • 2 passport-style photos, if you reside outside the United States.

All data must be correct to avoid any complications. We strongly recommend that you seek the professional advice of a US immigration attorney to fill out this form.

Step 2: Biometrics Appointment

The next step is to set up your biometrics appointment at your local USCIS field office. USCIS will take your fingerprints during the naturalization process to conduct a background check. The fingerprinting appointment usually takes place about a month after USCIS receives your U.S. citizenship application.

Step 3: Citizenship Interview and Exam

During this interview, a USCIS officer will verify that all the information on your application is correct. You will also be required to take the English and civics tests.

The English test will assess your proficiency in both spoken and written English. The civics test consists of questions about history and how the government works.

If you pass the interview and exam, the USCIS officer will approve your application at the end of the interview. In some cases, USCIS may ask you for additional documentation or schedule a second interview.

If you do not pass, USCIS will send you a denial letter explaining why. You may appeal their decision within 30 days of receiving the letter.

Step 4: Oath of Allegiance

Once your naturalization application is approved, you will attend an Oath of Allegiance ceremony. After completing this step, you will receive your Certificate of Naturalization.

Naturalization for Spouses of U.S. Citizens

Spouses of United States citizens may be eligible for naturalization based on their marriage under special provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), including overseas processing.

Usually, spouses of U.S. citizens are required to meet the general naturalization requirements, but other provisions apply, such as:

  • The spouse of a U.S. citizen employed abroad who is working for the U.S. Government (including the armed forces) or other qualified entity may naturalize in the United States without any required period of residence or physical presence in the United States after becoming a permanent resident.
  • The spouse of a U.S. citizen who is serving abroad in the U.S. armed forces may naturalize abroad while residing with his or her spouse. Time spent abroad under these circumstances is considered residence and physical presence in the United States for purposes of the general three-year provision for spouses.
  • The surviving spouse of a U.S. citizen who dies during a period of honorable service in an active-duty status in the U.S. armed forces or was granted citizenship posthumously may naturalize in the United States without any required period of residence or physical presence after becoming an LPR.

If you are the spouse of a U.S. citizen and want to start the naturalization process, contact our highly experience US Naturalization lawyers today!

Our Specialized Orlando Naturalization Attorneys are Ready to Help You!

Our team of attorneys, including Frank Symphorien-Saavdera who is certified as an expert in Immigration and Nationality Law by the Florida Bar, is ready to guide you through the entire naturalization process. Call us today at 407-802-1717, or fill out the online form provided on this page and we will contact you shortly.

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Orlando Immigration Lawyer - Frank Symphorien-Saavedra

Symphorien-Saavedra Law, P.A. is a diverse team of immigrants who are dedicated to helping immigrants, small businesses, and investors.

(*) This information is provided for general purposes and is not a substitute for individualized advice. You should schedule a consultation to discuss your particular situation.