When you want U.S. citizenship, you’re required to meet naturalization requirements. Those requirements include things like being a permanent residence for a certain amount of time, understanding English and being a person of good moral character – but there are some exceptions available to some people.
Exceptions to Naturalization Requirements
Some people qualify for exceptions to certain naturalization requirements. Exceptions include:
- English language exemptions
- Civics exceptions
- Continuous residence exceptions
English Language Exemptions
Some people are exempt from the requirement of reading, speaking and writing in English, but still have to take and pass the civics test. People who are exempt include:
- Those who are age 50 or older at the time they file for naturalization, if they have had a green card in the U.S. for 20 years
- Those who are age 55 or older at the time they file for naturalization, if they have had a U.S. green card for 15 years
- People who have a physical or developmental disability or mental impairment
Although these people are exempt from the English language requirement, they must still take and pass the civics test – but they can take the civics test in their native language. However, taking the test in your native language also means that you’re responsible for bringing an interpreter with you to your interview, and your interpreter must be fluent in English and your native language.
People who are age 65 or older and have been permanent residents of the U.S. for at least 20 years at the time they file can be given special consideration on the civics test requirement.
People who have a physical or developmental disability or mental impairment can be exempt from the civics requirements, too.
Continuous Residence Exceptions
Some people who are engaged in certain types of employment overseas can get out of the continuous residence requirement. For example, people who work for the U.S. government (including the military), people who are part of a recognized American institution of research, and those that are part of an organization designated under the International Immunities Act can be exempt from continuous residence requirements.
Do You Need to Talk to an Immigration Attorney in Milwaukee?
If you feel you or your loved one may qualify for exceptions to naturalization requirements and you need help, call us at 414-383-6700 to schedule your consultation. Our Wisconsin immigration lawyers are here to answer your questions and give you case-specific immigration advice.