Pursuing Citizenship in Cupertino

A permanent resident who has been residing continuously in the United States for at least five years (or three years in some cases) after receiving his or her green card and who satisfies the other requirements listed in the Immigration & Nationality Act (INA) for becoming a U.S. citizen may apply for naturalization by submitting an application to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This holds true whether the permanent resident acquired his or her permanent resident status through family immigration, business immigration, or as refugees, asylees or diversity visa immigrants.

Because of the many rights and privileges conferred by U.S. citizenship, every person who meets the eligibility requirements should at least consider U.S. citizenship as an option and review their situation with a competent immigration attorney before proceeding with their application. The most tangible benefits of being a U.S. citizen include having the right to vote in elections and be issued a U.S. passport. Not so obvious to many is the fact that U.S. citizens cannot be removed by the Government for having been convicted of a crime.

Eligibility for Naturalization

The general requirements for naturalization are as follows:

  • You must be a permanent resident for at least 5 years (or 3 years in some circumstances).
  • You must be at least 18 years of age.
  • You must have maintained at least five years of continuous residence in the United States, half of which time must have been spent physically present in the United States.
  • You must pass a test of your ability to read, write and speak English, as well as an examination in basic U.S. history and government.
  • You must be willing to take the oath of allegiance and bear arms for the United States.

In addition to these requirements, you will have to furnish evidence that you are a person of "good moral character." You must also affirm that you are willing to support the good order and happiness of the United States and to the principles of the Constitution.

Attorney Widman can evaluate your eligibility for naturalization, assist you in gathering the necessary documentation to prepare and submit your application to USCIS, and represent you at the USCIS interview. He serves clients in San Jose, Cupertino, Mountain View, Sunnyvale, and throughout the rest of Santa Clara County.

In some cases, you may already be a U.S. citizen, because citizenship was either automatically transmitted to you at birth or derived later through the naturalization of one or both parents, and not know it. Where U.S. citizenship can be established, Attorney Widman can assist you in gathering the necessary evidence to prove your claim to citizenship and represent you in applying for a Certificate of Naturalization.

Benefits of Being a U.S. Citizen

First, you will have the right to register to vote and to vote in elections. Second, you will have access to government jobs not available to non-citizens. Third, you can apply for and obtain a U.S. passport allowing you to travel more easily. Fourth, as a U.S. citizen, you may be able to sponsor your immediate relatives or family-preference eligible relatives for permanent residency. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, as a U.S. citizen you are not subject to removal from the United States for violating criminal laws.

How a Cupertino Immigration Attorney Can Help

The Law Office of Timothy D. Widman has advised and represented clients wishing to become U.S. citizens and guided them through the naturalization process. Attorney Widman is prepared to help you with your own case as well. Contact the firm now to discuss your situation and get started on your case.