If you’re trying to become a U.S. citizen while living in Florida, you know the process can get complex. It can be a challenge to make sure you’re fulfilling all the requirements, getting educated on the regulations, and attending the required hearings. It can all have a real effect on the daily life of both yourself and your family. You’ll reduce the stress and give yourself a great advantage when you decide to hire a lawyer who’s experienced in immigration law to help you navigate your way to citizenship. Your Florida attorney can help you with your paperwork, prepare you for your test and interviews, and help you with any legal problems that arise. Here are the key ways you can become a U.S. citizen with the assistance of a Florida attorney.
Citizenship Through Naturalization
Naturalization is the most common way for eligible immigrants to obtain U.S. citizenship. You can be eligible for naturalization if you’re aged 18 or older and a permanent resident for at least five years (or three years if you’re married to a U.S. citizen); have good moral character; can pass an English and civics test; and can demonstrate an understanding of U.S. history and government. Your legal path to naturalization is complex, and requires that you accurately prepare and submit your documents within a specific timeframe. You also must gather evidence of your eligibility, and attend an interview with a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) officer. An experienced Florida immigration attorney can help you navigate the naturalization process, explain the requirements to you, and represent you in any legal proceedings as necessary.
Citizenship Through U.S. Citizen Parents
If you were born outside of the United States to U.S. citizen parents, you may be eligible for U.S. citizenship through your parents. The rules for this path to citizenship can depend on various factors, including your parents’ citizenship and residency status, your date of birth, and whether you were born in or out of wedlock. A Florida attorney who’s experienced in immigration law can help you preparing the necessary evidence and documentation to establish your claim to citizenship through U.S. citizen parents.
Citizenship Through Marriage
If you’re married to a U.S. citizen and have been a permanent resident for at least 3 years, you may be eligible for naturalization based on that marriage. But you must meet specific requirements for this path to citizenship, including proving that the marriage is “bona fide”—or real and genuine—and not solely for the purpose of obtaining your citizen status. A Florida immigration attorney can help you navigate the complex legal requirements of this path, and represent you in any required interviews or hearings.
Citizenship Through Military Service
If you’re a foreign national who currently serves or has served in the U.S. armed forces, you may be eligible for expedited naturalization. Naturalization through military service requires conditions that are different from those of regular naturalization, and may provide certain waivers or exceptions. A Florida attorney with experience in military immigration can help you navigate through the specific requirements—such as honorable service, length of service, and others—and assist you in preparing the necessary documentation.
Citizenship Through Refugee or Asylum Status
If you have been granted refugee or asylum status in the U.S., you can become eligible to obtain citizenship after a certain period of time. The requirements, regulations, and timeline for this path to citizenship can vary widely. A Florida immigration attorney can keep you apprised of the process, make sure you meet eligibility criteria, and help you keep you on track.
Citizenship Through Special Programs
You may be able to obtain citizenship by qualifying under various special programs. For example, the Cuban Adjustment Act allows certain Cuban nationals who have been lived in the U.S. for at least a year to apply for permanent residency and ultimately U.S. citizenship. The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) provides relief for victims of domestic violence and may allow certain abused spouses or children of U.S. citizens or permanent residents to obtain lawful status and ultimately U.S. citizenship. Other provisions exist that enable special immigrant juveniles, religious workers, and other categories of people to qualify for citizenship. These include the Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act (NACARA) and the Haitian Refugee Immigration Fairness Act (HRIFA). A Florida attorney who specializes in immigration law can help you understand the requirements and options available under these special programs and guide you through the process.
If you’re already a citizen of another country and you want to become a US citizen as well, you may be eligible for dual citizenship. The laws regarding dual citizenship can be complex, with a number of unique requirements. A Florida immigration attorney can help you understand the legal implications of this citizenship path and prepare for the legal process.
Contact a Florida Immigration Attorney
Do you have questions about becoming a U.S. citizen with the help of an immigration attorney in Florida? Then contact Florida Immigration Law Counsel through our website or by calling 1-800-666-4996. We deal with the government so you don’t have to. We look forward to helping you at this time.