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Gainesville FL 32606

(352) 359-3910
Practice Limited Exclusively to Immigration and Nationality Law
U.S. Immigration Law

Citizenship and Naturalization

US CitizenshipCitizenship by Birth

There are several ways by which and individual acquires U.S. citizenship by birth. Below are the most common:

  1. Birth in the United States.
  2. Birth outside the U.S. to parents both of whom are U.S. citizens and one of whom has had a residence in the U.S. prior to the birth of the individual.
  3. Birth outside the U.S. to parents, one of whom is a U.S. citizen who was physically present n the U.S. prior to the birth of the individual for at least 5 years, 2 of which after the age of 14.

Automatic Acquisition of Citizenship by Children Born outside the U.S. and Residing Permanently in the U.S.

A child born outside the U.S. automatically becomes a U.S. citizen when all of the following conditions are met:

  1. At least one parent is a U.S. citizen.
  2. The child is under the age of 18.
  3. The child is residing in the U.S. in the legal and physical custody of the U.S. citizen parent pursuant to lawful admission as a permanent resident.

Conditions for Acquiring Certificate of Citizenship for Children Born outside the U.S. and Residing Outside the U.S.

A U.S. citizen parent (or if deceased for less than 5 years, a U.S. citizen grandparent) may apply for citizenship of a child born outside the U.S. who has not acquired citizenship automatically as described above once the following conditions are fulfilled:

  1. At least one parent is a U.S. citizen.
  2. The U.S. citizen parent has been physically present in the U.S. for at least 5 years, 2 of which after the age of 14 or has a U.S. citizen parent (the child’s grandparent) who has been physically present in the U.S. for at least 5 years, 2 of which after the age of 14.
  3. The child is under 18.
  4. The child resides outside of the U.S. in the legal and physical custody of the U.S. citizen parent.
  5. The child is temporarily present in the U.S. pursuant to a lawful admission.

Naturalization

An individual may apply to become a U.S. citizen through naturalization if the following requirements are met:

  1. Immediately preceding the date of filing the application, the person has continuously resided in the U.S., after obtaining permanent residence, for 5 years (3 years if residency obtained through U.S. citizen spouse).
  2. Has been physically present in the U.S. for at least half of that time period.
  3. Has resided in the state of filing the application for at least 3 months.
  4. Resides continuously in the U.S. from the date of application to the time of naturalization.
  5. Has been a person of good moral character during period of residence in U.S.
  6. Must demonstrate an understanding of English language and the history and principles of government of the United States.   This requirement is waived for people over 50 who have lived in the U.S. for at least 20 years as permanent residents or people over 55 who have lived in the U.S. for at least 15 years as permanent residents.
  7. Must take an oath of allegiance to the United States.

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