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Exceptions to Naturalization Requirements in the U.S.

Exceptions to Naturalization Requirements in the U.S. - Carlos Gamino

By Carlos Gamino

When a person wants to become a naturalized U.S. citizen, he or she must meet several requirements – including a requirement to speak English, take a civics test, and recite the Oath of Allegiance. However, there are some exceptions available to people who qualify. Here’s what you need to know.

Exceptions to Naturalization Requirements in the U.S.

Some people qualify for exceptions to the U.S.’s naturalization requirements that involve speaking English and taking a civics test, as well as taking the Oath of Allegiance to the U.S.

English Language Exceptions

You could be exempt from the English language requirement if you are:

  • Age 50 or older, if you have been in the U.S. as a permanent resident with a green card for at least 20 years
  • Age 55 or older, if you have lived as a permanent resident with a green card for at least 15 years

If you’re exempt under these rules, you’ll still have to take the civics test – but you can take it in your native language, provided that you bring an interpreter with you to your interview.

English and Civics Exemptions for Medical Disabilities

If you can’t speak English or take the civics test because you have a physical or developmental disability (or a member of your family does), you could be exempt from both. You must bring in a form completed by a licensed medical doctor or psychologist to prove that you (or your family member) has a disability that would prevent you from doing either of these things.

Do You Need to Talk to an Attorney About Exceptions to Naturalization Requirements?

We may be able to help you file your paperwork for U.S. naturalization, as well as help you prove that you’re exempt from either the English language requirement or the civics test requirement – or both.

Call us at 414-383-6700 now to schedule a consultation with a Milwaukee immigration attorney who can help.

Carlos Gamino

By |2021-07-17T13:39:07-05:00November 27th, 2019|Immigration Law|Comments Off on Exceptions to Naturalization Requirements in the U.S.

Could You Pass the U.S. Naturalization Test?

Could You Pass the U.S. Naturalization Test - Carlos Gamino

By Carlos Gamino

When eligible green card holders want to become naturalized U.S. citizens, they have to take the naturalization test. While the entire test features 100 civics-related questions, people are asked up to 10 of them and must answer six of them correctly in order to pass.

The overall national pass rate is 90 percent – but could you do it?

A recent study found that only one in three Americans would pass the multiple-choice test. In the study, researchers discovered that only 13 percent of people surveyed knew when the U.S. Constitution was ratified, and only 40 percent knew which countries the U.S. fought against in World War II.

Related: What’s on the U.S. Citizenship Test?

Some of the questions are fairly easy – if you’ve lived here your whole life. For example, you might see:

  • We elect a president for how many years?
  • Who is in charge of the executive branch?
  • Which war wasn’t fought by the United States in the 1900s?

Sure, you can answer these: 4, the president, and the Global War on Terror.

But could you answer some of the toughest questions? According to a 2011 study, these are the five hardest.

1. How many amendments does the Constitution have?

  • A. 14
  • B. 21
  • C. 25
  • D. 27

2. Which of these is something Benjamin Franklin is known for?

  • A. He was the first person to sign the Constitution
  • B. He discovered electricity
  • C. He was the nation’s first Postmaster General
  • D. He was the nation’s second president

3. Who was president during World War I?

  • A. Woodrow Wilson
  • B. Warren Harding
  • C. Calvin Coolidge
  • D. Franklin D. Roosevelt

4. Which statement correctly describes the “rule of law”?

  • A. The law is what the president says it is
  • B. The people who enforce the laws do not have to follow them
  • C. No one is above the law
  • D. Judges can rewrite laws they disagree with

5. Under the Constitution, which of these powers does not belong to the federal government?

  • A. Ratify amendments to the Constitution
  • B. Print money
  • C. Declare war
  • D. Make treaties with foreign powers

Answers

  • 1. D
  • 2. C
  • 3. A
  • 4. C
  • 5. A

How did you do? Did you get all five correct?

People who want to become naturalized U.S. citizens have to answer at least six out of ten questions correctly. If someone fails the test twice, they must apply to retake it and pay the filing fee again.

Are You Thinking of Immigrating to the U.S.?

If you’re interested in immigrating to the U.S., we may be able to help you. Call us at 414-383-6700 to schedule your consultation with an immigration attorney in Milwaukee. We can answer your questions about asylum, citizenship, family sponsored visas (and other types of visas) and even deportation defense.

Carlos Gamino

By |2021-07-17T13:46:51-05:00November 27th, 2019|Immigration Law|Comments Off on Could You Pass the U.S. Naturalization Test?

Exceptions to Naturalization Requirements

Exceptions to Naturalization Requirements

By Carlos Gamino

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.

Civics Exceptions

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.

Carlos Gamino

By |2021-07-23T16:21:47-05:00November 27th, 2019|Immigration Law|Comments Off on Exceptions to Naturalization Requirements

The Immigration Guide to Naturalization

The Immigration Guide to Naturalization - Carlos Gamino

By Carlos Gamino

Naturalization – becoming a U.S. citizen when you were born in a different country – is a process. It requires you to fill out forms, interview with a U.S. Customs and Immigration Services official, and take an oath of allegiance to the United States.

The Immigration Guide to Naturalization

If you’re interested in becoming a U.S. citizen, you probably have many questions – including:

  • What are the requirements for naturalization?
  • Will my children become U.S. citizens, too?
  • What documents do I need?
  • Do I need a lawyer to apply for naturalization?

What are the requirements for naturalization?

Not everyone is eligible for naturalization. You must be a permanent resident of the United States who can prove that you’ve had continuous residence here. Also, you must meet other requirements, such as being a person of good moral character, as well as read, write and speak basic English. Finally, you must also have a “knowledge and understanding of the fundamentals of the history, and of the principals and form of government of the United States.” Finally, you must be willing to support and defend the U.S. Constitution – and you’ll declare that support in your oath of allegiance.

Will my children become U.S. citizens, too?

Usually, children must go through a separate naturalization process – that is, unless they were born after you became a U.S. citizen. However, any child who is born in the U.S. or born abroad to a U.S. citizen is automatically a citizen from birth.

What documents do I need to apply for citizenship?

You’ll need to prove that you’re a lawful permanent resident of the United States and that you qualify for naturalization. You’ll have to provide:

  • A copy of both sides of your permanent resident card (also known as your green card)
  • Two identical color photos with your name and Alien Registration Number written lightly on the back – but only if you reside outside the United States
  • Completed forms required by USCIS
  • Any documentation proving a name change
  • Evidence that your spouse has been a U.S. citizen for the required period if you’re applying on the basis of marriage
  • Proof of previous divorces
  • Certification that you served in the U.S. military, if applicable
  • Court orders pertaining to your children, if applicable
  • Any case information if you’ve been involved in the U.S. legal system

Do I need a lawyer to apply for naturalization?

If you’re like many people, you can benefit from working with a Milwaukee immigration attorney when you apply for naturalization. Your lawyer can help ensure you have all the proper paperwork – and that you don’t forget anything, which can drag out the process – as well as walk you through every step of naturalization. Your attorney will also explain what you can expect along the way and represent you if something goes wrong.

Call us at 484-383-6700 to schedule a consultation with an immigration attorney today.

Carlos Gamino

By |2021-07-23T16:36:50-05:00November 27th, 2019|Immigration Law|Comments Off on The Immigration Guide to Naturalization

Rights and Responsibilities of U.S. Citizens

Rights and Responsibilities of U.S. Citizens - Carlos Gamino

By Carlos Gamino

If you’re like many people, you have a green card and you want to become a U.S. citizen. While the process takes time, it can be a rewarding one – but as a U.S. citizen, you’ll have several rights and responsibilities that you wouldn’t otherwise have.

When you’re considering U.S. citizenship, you may find it helpful to talk to an immigration lawyer in Milwaukee who can help you navigate through the process.

Rights and Responsibilities of U.S. Citizens

Every U.S. citizen, whether they were born here or were naturalized, has a certain set of rights and responsibilities. The rights citizens enjoy are inalienable – that means that nobody can ever take them away from you.

Rights of U.S. Citizens

As a U.S. citizen, you will have several rights – including:

  • Religious freedom
  • The freedom to express yourself
  • The right to a fair, prompt trial by jury
  • The right to apply for federal employment that requires U.S. citizenship
  • The right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness
  • The right to run for office
  • The right to vote in elections

Responsibilities of U.S. Citizens

U.S. citizens have a number of responsibilities (most of them civic), including:

  • To support and defend the U.S. Constitution
  • Defend the U.S. if the need arises
  • Participate in the democratic process
  • Pay income taxes honestly
  • Respect and obey federal, state and local laws
  • Respect the beliefs and rights of others
  • Serve on a jury if called upon

Do You Need to Talk to a Milwaukee Immigration Lawyer?

If you’re thinking about becoming a U.S. citizen, you could benefit from working with an immigration attorney in Milwaukee who understands the whole process, who can answer your questions, and who can help you prepare for the application process.

Call us at 414-383-6700 to schedule an immigration consultation with an experienced lawyer – we would love to help you on your journey to becoming a U.S. citizen.

Carlos Gamino

By |2021-07-23T17:52:09-05:00November 25th, 2019|Immigration Law|Comments Off on Rights and Responsibilities of U.S. Citizens

6 Steps Toward Naturalization

6 Steps Toward Naturalization - Carlos Gamino

By Carlos Gamino

If you’re interested in becoming a naturalized citizen of the United States, there’s a significant process you must go through – and in many cases, it’s extremely helpful to work with a Milwaukee immigration lawyer who understands each step.

But what are the steps toward naturalization, and what will you have to do?

The 6 Steps Toward U.S. Naturalization

Your path toward U.S. citizenship includes applications, background checks and interviews. These are the six steps you’ll have to go through:

1. Find out if you’re eligible for naturalization. You can use the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Naturalization Eligibility Worksheet to determine your status.

2. Fill out an Application for Naturalization and gather the necessary documentation. Your attorney can review all your documentation to ensure you have everything the USCIS needs.

3. Go to your biometrics appointment if USCIS says you need to.

4. Complete your interview. Your attorney can help you prepare for your naturalization interview. You may also want to review what you should bring to your immigration interview.

5. Wait for the USCIS’s decision, which will be granted, continued or denied. If your petition is granted, USCIS believes that the evidence in your record proves you’re eligible for naturalization. If it’s continued, USCIS may need more evidence or documentation or you may need to re-take the English or civics test. If it’s denied, that means the USCIS found the evidence in your record to establish that you aren’t eligible for naturalization.

6. Receive your notice to take the Oath of Allegiance and appear at your naturalization ceremony, where you’ll actually take the oath.

Do You Need to Talk to a Milwaukee Immigration Attorney?

If you’re interested in naturalization in the U.S., we may be able to help you. Call us at 414-383-6700 or contact us online to schedule a consultation with a Milwaukee immigration lawyer. We can answer your questions, explain the process and help you begin moving forward.

Carlos Gamino

By |2021-07-23T17:57:00-05:00November 25th, 2019|Immigration Law|Comments Off on 6 Steps Toward Naturalization

Naturalization Through Military Service

Naturalization Through Military Service - Carlos Gamino

By Carlos Gamino

Many people who serve in the U.S military become eligible for naturalization as U.S. citizens as a result. The Immigration and Nationality Act authorizes U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to expedite the process for current members and veterans, but some people aren’t aware of this possibility while they’re serving.

Naturalization Through Military Service

In order to become a citizen of the U.S., a service member or veteran must:

  • Have good moral character
  • Know the English language
  • Have knowledge of U.S. government and history
  • Be attached to the principles outlined in the Constitution and take an Oath of Allegiance to the U.S.

You must have served honorably in the Armed Forces for at least a year, gotten lawful permanent residence status, and meet the other requirements for naturalization.

If you’re qualified, you may be exempt from some of the requirements most people must meet, such as residence and physical presence.

Naturalization for Veterans

Many veterans who are not U.S. citizens find it beneficial to work with a Milwaukee immigration attorney on the naturalization process.

Your attorney will:

  • Ensure you’re filing the proper forms with the appropriate agencies
  • Help you meet deadlines necessary for your application to be considered
  • Help prepare you for interviews and other necessary steps toward citizenship

Are You a Service Member or Veteran Who Needs to Talk to an Immigration Lawyer?

If you’re an active-duty service member, you may be able to work with your military branch to obtain U.S. citizenship. If you’re a veteran without access to a military installation, your attorney can help.

Call us at 414-383-6700 for a consultation today. Or you can reach us online.

Carlos Gamino

By |2021-07-25T13:00:19-05:00November 24th, 2019|Immigration Law|Comments Off on Naturalization Through Military Service

Should You Consider Citizenship in the U.S.?

Should You Become a U.S. Citizen - Carlos Gamino

By Carlos Gamino

If you’re thinking about taking the step from being a permanent resident of the U.S. to becoming a citizen, there are several important things to consider—and in addition to a status change, you’ll have new rights and responsibilities. You may want to talk to an immigration lawyer in Milwaukee to discuss your options and decide whether citizenship is right for you.

Should You Consider U.S. Citizenship?

U.S. citizens have rights and responsibilities that permanent residents don’t have. Citizens can:

  • Apply for federal jobs
  • Become elected officials
  • Become eligible for federal scholarships and grants
  • Bring family members to the United States
  • Get citizenship for children who are under the age of 18
  • Get government benefits
  • Permanently keep your residency
  • Serve on a jury
  • Travel with a U.S. passport
  • Vote

Becoming a U.S. citizen is technically called naturalization, but not everyone is eligible. In order to apply, you must:

  • Be a person of good moral character
  • Be able to speak, read, and write basic English
  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Have a basic understanding of U.S. history and government
  • Have had a green card (be a permanent resident) for at least 5 years
  • Show continuous residence in the U.S. for at least 5 years immediately preceding the date you file
  • Show that you have lived in the state or USCIS district you’re applying from for at least 3 months
  • Show that you were physically present in the U.S. for at least 30 months of the past 5 years
  • Show that you’re attached to the principals and ideals of the U.S. Constitution

You’ll have to take the U.S. Citizenship Test, as well.

Do You Need to Talk to a Lawyer About U.S. Citizenship?

For most people, it makes sense to talk to an immigration lawyer in Wisconsin before beginning the citizenship process. Your attorney can walk you through the paperwork, help prepare you for interviews, and ensure that your application is complete and properly filed.

If you’d like to talk to an attorney about becoming a U.S. citizen, call us at 414-383-6700. We’re here to help.

Carlos Gamino

By |2021-07-25T13:27:02-05:00November 24th, 2019|Immigration Law|Comments Off on Should You Consider Citizenship in the U.S.?

Can You Lose Your Chance at Citizenship?

Can You Be Denied Citizenship in the U.S. - Carlos Gamino

By Carlos Gamino

Once you’ve begun the application process to become a U.S. citizen—particularly if you’re applying through the process of naturalization—the U.S. government may be able to deny your application and tell you that you’re not eligible for citizenship.

For many people, it makes sense to work with a Milwaukee immigration attorney who understands how the process works (and who can complete the paperwork properly to help avoid any snags in the process).

How Can the Government Deny Your Citizenship?

There are several “grounds for denial” that the U.S. government can use, but the most common include mistaken eligibility, whether you did something that makes you “removable” from the U.S., and whether you meet the eligibility criteria.

Mistaken Eligibility

Sometimes green cards are approved when they shouldn’t be. When you apply for citizenship with Form N-400 (Application for Naturalization), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services representatives will review your entire case file—including your original green card application. If there’s a mistake, you could be stripped of your green card and, as a result, be rendered ineligible for naturalization.

Being “Removable” From the U.S.

If you’ve committed a crime, violated immigration policy, or even done something like failed to let USCIS know about an address change, you could be considered “removable” from the United States. If that happens, you could lose your eligibility to apply for naturalization.

Failing to Meet Basic Eligibility Criteria for Naturalization

There are several criteria you must meet to be eligible for citizenship in the U.S., and failure to meet any of them will make you ineligible for naturalization. You must:

  • Be at least 18 when you file
  • Have permanent residence in the U.S. for a prescribed number of years
  • Have demonstrated good moral character in the years leading up to your application
  • Be able to speak, read, and write in English
  • Have been physically present in the U.S. for a prescribed amount of time during your residency
  • Pass the citizenship test
  • Be willing to affirm your loyalty to the U.S.

Do You Need to Talk to a Milwaukee Immigration Attorney?

If you need to talk to a Milwaukee immigration lawyer, call us right away at 414-383-6700. We’ll evaluate your situation and make the appropriate recommendations on what you can do next.

Carlos Gamino

By |2021-07-25T13:49:43-05:00November 24th, 2019|Immigration Law|Comments Off on Can You Lose Your Chance at Citizenship?

The Path to U.S. Citizenship

U.S. Citizenship Through Naturalization - Wisconsin Immigration Lawyer

By Carlos Gamino

There are many ways to become a U.S. citizen. You can become naturalized through a number of avenues if you’re eligible, whether you’re serving in the U.S. military to get citizenship or you’re a green card holder married to a U.S. citizen.

No two cases are the same, though, so many people choose to work with a Wisconsin immigration lawyer who understands the law and who can help smooth out the application process.

The Path to U.S. Citizenship

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, or USCIS, is in charge of the citizenship process in the U.S. The most common ways for people to gain citizenship in the U.S. include:

  • Holding a green card and being married to a U.S. citizen
  • Holding a green card and being in the U.S. military
  • Holding a green card and being a U.S. resident for at least 5 years

If you’re neither married to a U.S. citizen or part of the military, you can still apply for naturalization.

Who Qualifies for Naturalization in the U.S.?

If you intend to live in the U.S. as a permanent resident and wish to apply for naturalization, you can’t do it immediately. Before you can apply for naturalization, you must:

  • Be over 18 when you file
  • Hold a green card for at least 5 years immediately preceding the date you file
  • Live in the state or USCIS district from which you’re applying for at least 3 months before you file
  • Be able to show continuous residence in the U.S. for at least 5 years immediately preceding the date you file
  • Have been physically present in the U.S. for at least 30 months of the preceding 5 years
  • Stay in the U.S. from the date of your application until the time of your naturalization
  • Read, write, and speak English
  • Have knowledge and an understanding of U.S. history and government
  • Have good moral character and be attached to the principles of the Constitution

Do You Need to Talk to a Wisconsin Immigration Lawyer About Naturalization?

Even if you haven’t yet applied for a green card, it can be a good idea to talk to a Waukesha immigration lawyer who can give you advice on how to become a naturalized citizen of the U.S.

Call us at 414-383-6700. You can also contact us online. We’ll be happy to discuss your needs and give you legal advice you can use on your path to U.S. citizenship.

Carlos Gamino

By |2021-07-25T14:25:30-05:00November 24th, 2019|Immigration Law|Comments Off on The Path to U.S. Citizenship

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