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Citizenship

Why should I become a U.S. citizen if I already have a green card?

How can I become a U.S. citizen?

Who is born a United States citizen?

How do I become a citizen through naturalization?





Q: Why should I become a U.S. citizen if I already have a green card?

A U.S. citizenship affords greater security and more rights.  A green card holder’s permanent residence status can be lost involuntarily by several ways.  For instance, if the green card holder commits certain criminal acts, he or she can be found removable from the United Status.  Abandonment of status may also occur if a green card holder stays outside of the United States for more than 365 days (unless they obtain a re-entry permit before leaving).  And unlike U.S. citizens, green card holders experience long delays when seeking to sponsor family members. 


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Q: How can I become a U.S. citizen?

A person may become a U.S. citizen either by (1) birth or (2) through naturalization.


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Q: Who is born a United States citizen?

Generally, a person is an American citizen if he or she was:  (1) born in the United States or (2) if born to U.S. citizens.

Born in the United States:  This requirement is met if a person is conceived in one of the 50 States of the United States of America. or, in most cases, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.  (An exception to this rule is if you were born to a foreign diplomat).

Born to U.S. citizens:   This requirement can be met in two scenarios, listed below.

Scenario 1:  Your birth occurred abroad to TWO United States citizens.  In this scenario you are most likely a U.S. citizen if ALL of the following are true:

• Both your parents were U.S. citizens when you were born; and
• At least one of your parents lived in the United States at some point in their life.

Scenario 2:  Your birth occurred abroad to ONE United States citizen.  In this scenario you are likely a U.S. citizen if ALL of the following are true:

• One of your parents was a U.S. citizen when you were born;
• Your citizen parent lived at least 5 years in the United States before you were born;
• At least 2 of these 5 years in the United States were after your
citizen parent's 14th birthday.


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Q: How do I become a citizen through naturalization?

If you are not a U.S. citizen by birth you may still be eligible to become a citizen through the normal naturalization process.


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The Law Office of Renee J. Tello, PLLC serves clients throughout the New York City metropolitan area including Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, Bronx, Staten Island and Westchester.



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