As Milwaukee immigration lawyers, there are three questions we hear all the time. We asked Attorney Carlos Gamino to answer them here. If you have other questions, feel free to call at (414)383-6700 or send us an email.
What are the requirements for naturalization in the U.S.?
Attorney Carlos A. Gamino: When it comes to naturalization, approvals are case-by-case. Generally, you have to be 18 years old (or older) to apply. You also have to be a permanent resident, which means you have a green card. In addition, you have to:
- Have been physically present in the United States for at least 30 months out of the past five years, with no one absence being longer than one year.
- Show that you have good moral character.
- Show that you agree with, and will follow the principles of, the U.S. Constitution.
- Speak, read and write English proficiently.
- Pass the Naturalization Exam.
- Swear the Oath of Allegiance to the U.S.
Can I change my name during the naturalization process?
Attorney Carlos A. Gamino: There are two ways you can change your name so that your new name is on your Certificate of Naturalization. The first only applies if you’ve already changed it according to the laws in your state, such as if you were married or divorced. The second way to do it is to take the Oath of Allegiance in a ceremony held in court; you can ask the court to change your name, but there’s no guarantee that your request will be granted.
What if my naturalization application is denied?
Attorney Carlos A. Gamino: If your application is denied, you’ll receive a letter that says so. Bring the letter to your immigration lawyer, who will be able to file an appeal with Customs and Immigration. If you’re denied again, you have the right to petition for a new review in U.S. District Court.