There are many options when it comes to citizenship in the United States. The best pathway to citizenship depends on your current situation, so it is best to discuss your plan with an immigration lawyer in Detroit. Listed below are the most common routes towards citizenship.Information that will allow you to complete the paperwork toward becoming a naturalized US citizen.Find best way to work towards citizenship.
Becoming a Naturalized American Citizen
If you are a non-U.S. citizen and want to become an American citizen, you will need to follow the process of naturalization. In order to become a naturalized U.S. Citizen, there are certain prescribed steps that you must follow:
- You must have had a Green Card for a minimum of 5 years (or 3 if you are married to a U.S. Citizen)
- You must be at least 18
- You must be able to read, write, and speak basic English
- You must be of good moral standing
- You must complete all 10 steps of the naturalization process
- This test includes extensive paperwork, as well as an exam. It is recommended that you use the services of an immigration lawyer through this process.
Applying for a Dual Citizenship
If you are applying for a dual citizenship, you will be allowed to retain citizenship of another country at the same time as becoming a U.S. citizen. It is important that you understand the policies from your home country on dual citizenship, as being allowed to retain your citizenship in the U.S. does not necessarily mean the other country will reciprocate. Be sure to contact the country’s embassy about any questions you have about this.
U.S. Citizenship for Those Born Abroad (or in U.S. Territories)
- If you were born in a U.S. state or territory and were issued a U.S. birth certificate, you are already a U.S. citizen. If you were not issued a birth certificate, there are other ways to prove your status. Again, this is a topic best discussed with an immigration lawyer.
- If you were born outside of the U.S. and one of your parents is a U.S. citizen, and your birth was recorded at a U.S. Embassy, your parents were issued a Consular Report of Birth Abroad. This document is valid proof of your U.S. Citizenship.
- If the embassy did not issue a Consular Report of Birth Abroad, you must apply for a Certificate of Citizenship from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
Proving Citizenship Without a Birth Certificate
If you were born in the United States but you do not have a birth certificate, there are many documents required to prove your citizenship.
- A letter from the Vital Records Office with your name and the dates they looked for your birth certificate
- A letter of No Record from the Vital Records Office
- Secondary evidence of U.S. Citizenship:
- U.S. Passport
- Early documents such as baptism certificate, U.S. Census records, early school records, doctors records, or other official documents to corroborate your childhood in the United States.
Applying for a Certificate of Citizenship
In order to apply for a Certificate of Citizenship, you must complete the forms provided by the USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) including Form N-600. You will find this form, as well as filing information, on the USCIS website.