Reliable Citizenship Attorneys in St. Charles, MO
Are you planning to apply for citizenship in the U.S.? Our Missouri immigration attorneys in St. Charles are experienced in helping immigrants with their naturalization process. We have helped countless families in Missouri with their legal problems, and we are here to help you, too. Call our St. Charles citizenship attorneys to get started today.
We Are Immigration Lawyers Who Will Fight for Your Best Interests
U.S. Immigration laws are highly complex. They could change almost daily, and the federal government and other agencies enact regulations. Just a simple mistake can lead you to say goodbye to your dreams of becoming a U.S. Citizen. Our experienced St. Charles, MO immigration attorneys can help you stay ahead of these changes, giving you better results.
Applying for Citizenship in the U.S.
There are two ways to become a U.S. citizen. One is by operation of law, where you don’t have to do anything to be granted citizenship. For example, people born in the U.S. are automatically granted U.S. citizenship. The other way is through naturalization. This process involves applying and proving your eligibility to become a U.S. citizen.
What Are the Benefits of Becoming a U.S. Citizen?
There are many benefits if you become a U.S. citizen (USC):
- Citizens can vote in local, state, and federal government elections
- Citizens can travel outside of the U.S. with no restrictions
- Crimes (other than fraud related to the naturalization process) cannot result in your removal proceedings
- Citizens have expanded and streamlined opportunities to petition for immigration benefits for their relatives
- Depending on where you live, you can be entitled to more healthcare and benefits
What Are the Requirements to Apply for Citizenship?
There are five basic requirements for you to become a US citizen:
You must be a Green Card holder:
In other words, you must have a lawful permanent resident status in the United States. You must have Legal Permanent Resident Status (LPR), and it must not have changed during your application for change of status. Otherwise, USCIS could revoke your citizenship through a process called denaturalization.
If you have been a Legal Permanent Resident (LPR) for five years, you may apply to become a U.S. citizen (naturalize). If you got your permanent resident card through marriage, you could apply to become a U.S. citizen after three years so long as you are still married to the spouse who petitioned for you.
You must be at least 18 years of age.
You must be at least 18 years of age at the time of your application.
You will also be tested on your ability to read, write, and speak basic English. This may seem intimidating, but the test will involve an immigration officer asking you simple questions about yourself and the application, which you will, in turn, answer in English. You will also be required to answer a written that you need to answer in English.
As a citizenship applicant, you will also be required to pass an oral test in American history and government.
To qualify for American citizenship, you must be a resident of the United States for at least five years. We call this continuous residency, and leaving the U.S. for too long in a single trip can interrupt your continuous residence.
Ideally, it would be best if you kept your trips abroad short, not lasting more than six months. Otherwise, immigration officers will presume that you abandoned residency if you stayed outside the United States for more than six months. In this case, you must prove that you maintained continuous residence in the U.S.
Staying outside the United States for more than one year will ultimately break your continuous residence. However, there are certain people exempted from this requirement. These includes:
- Immigrants married to U.S. Citizens
- VAWA Applicants
- People who are working for certain U.S. government agencies
Good Moral Character
You must also show that you have maintained a good moral character during the whole statutory period, which is five years or three years if you’re married to a U.S. citizen.
It is not specified what quantifies as good moral character. Still, as a general rule, people who have been convicted of a crime of moral turpitude or felony are found as lacking good moral character. However, there are some instances where people who haven’t been jailed or convicted will be seen as lacking good moral character. Drunkards, sexually immoral individuals, gamblers, those who refuse to support their dependents, and those on probation are only some examples of people who can be deemed as lacking good moral character.
Our immigration attorneys in St. Charles, MO, can evaluate your case to ensure that you are qualified before submitting any application in USCIS. This way, we can avoid any errors that can affect your naturalization application or even result in a denial or deportation. Seek legal advice from our reliable immigration attorneys to find out how you can become a US citizen today.
What If I Have a Criminal Violation?
We know that some things are inevitable, and one of those is brushing up with the law. If you’ve been charged with a crime or have been arrested, you must disclose all your criminal records to USCIS. This includes minor violations, even those criminal records that have been expunged or sealed by the court.
If you’re an immigrant and you’re worried that a criminal record might affect your citizenship application, talk to our reliable and experienced immigration lawyer today. At Gateway Immigration Law Firm, we are experienced in dealing with various criminal cases, and we can help come up with the best solution possible for your case.
Why Hire a St. Charles Immigration Lawyer?
In light of this process, you really need to develop and follow a comprehensive strategy for successfully moving through the naturalization process. We can help!
Our experienced St. Charles immigration attorney can help you achieve your dream of becoming a U.S. citizen. Don’t miss out on the benefits of being a citizen in the United States. Schedule a consultation with our Missouri immigration law firm today!