5 Ways to Get US Citizenship Most Immigrants Don't Know About
In the vast majority of cases, the path to citizenship of the United States passes through the status of a permanent resident (holder of a green card). In other words, you must become a permanent resident before being able to naturalize as a US citizen. Therefore, to discuss the various ways to obtain US citizenship, it is important to illustrate the various ways to obtain a green card. And there are more of them than many immigrants think.
Most often, people come to the United States and become permanent residents as part of family immigration, writes Citizenpath. However, the right can also be obtained through employment, refugee status and certain humanitarian reasons. There are even ways to citizenship for some groups of people who currently have DACA, TPS or no status (no documents). Having become a permanent resident, most applicants for citizenship have the right to naturalization on the basis of five years of continuous residence.
Americans by descent
US citizens are representatives of the American nation, but Americans by origin are not necessarily US citizens. People born in American Samoa and on the island of Swains do not usually need to become permanent residents; instead, they can apply for citizenship after they have completed some simple requirements. Before applying for the N-400 Naturalization Application, an American by birth must become a resident of any state in the United States. In addition, the requirements of permanent residence and physical presence apply. But any time in American Samoa or on the island of Swains is considered time in the United States to fulfill these requirements.
U.S. citizen widow or widower
Widows or widowers who were married to US citizens at the time of the death of a citizen can apply for permanent residence (green card). A widow must prove that he was legally married to a U.S. citizen and that the marriage was conscientious (not only to receive a green card). As the owner of a green card, a person has the right to citizenship and can submit the N-400 form after 5 years.
Until October 28, 2009, the applicant must have been married for at least 2 years at the time of the death of a US citizen in order to be eligible to participate. Now a widow or widower can apply after any length of marriage.
VAWA Independent Applicant
According to the Federal Law on Violence against Women (VAWA), victims of beating or abuse committed by some family members may be eligible to adjust the status of legal permanent resident. In fact, the victim may file a VAWA petition by filling out Form I-360 without the knowledge or consent of the offending family member. The applicant will have a clear path to citizenship if she decides to apply after 5 years of owning a green card.
DACA and other unregistered immigrants
The DACA program alone does not provide a pathway to citizenship. However, many DACA recipients, dreamers and other unregistered immigrants can obtain legal status through immigration routes on a family and even work basis. Often, a DACA recipient marries a US citizen.
Provided that the undocumented person originally entered the United States legally, it is usually sufficient to simply change the status (a legal entry was made if the person entered with a valid visa or humanitarian permit, even if the visa expired). The couple submits a package of documents to change their status, and a person who does not have documents is ultimately granted permanent residence, and he no longer needs DACA. As a rule, a resident spouse can apply for US citizenship after 3 years of marriage with a US citizen.
Persons who do not have legal entry have a more difficult path to citizenship. In these cases, consultation with a lawyer is recommended.
Specific immigration law provisions authorize USCIS to expedite the application and naturalization process for some members of the active duty forces and US veterans. In particular, a person who serves in the United States Armed Forces (Army, Air Force, Marines, Navy, or Coast Guard) or has recently been dismissed with honor (within 6 months), may be eligible to apply for accelerated citizenship by naturalization. When applying on the basis of military service, the requirements for permanent residence and physical presence are canceled. This means that the applicant must be a permanent resident only on the date of the interview on citizenship issues. Candidates must meet other naturalization requirements for military personnel.
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