Immigration. Travel. Living.

USA: naturalization

U.S. citizenship


What is the period of uninterrupted residence?

One of the key points in obtaining citizenship by naturalization is the concept of continuous residence with a constant physical presence in a certain place of the American state (state, specific locality).

The person who received the Green Card has the opportunity to permanently reside in America in 2021. The Green Card gives the right to permanent residence without the adoption of citizenship. It also becomes the basis for naturalization. Periods of permanent residence are as follows:

  • in standard terms, the principle of continuous residence is five years;
  • for those who married a citizen of the States, the term is reduced to three years;
  • for refugees, the beginning of this period is calculated from the date of arrival in the United States;
  • for those who have received refugee status, the period of permanent residence is one year, after which the procedure for obtaining citizenship begins.

It is also worth remembering that all your foreign trips must be strictly regulated in time. Otherwise, you can lose this status, and hence the very possibility of obtaining citizenship through naturalization. The basic principle of the approach to determining if the continuity rule has been violated is that:

  • if the applicant for citizenship is absent from the United States for 6-7 months, he loses his permanent resident status;
  • absence for a year or more leads to the fact that the applicant loses the right to stay in the United States without obtaining a second entry permit.
  • In the latter case, upon obtaining a second permit, you will have to start all over again to obtain a new permanent residence status.


The United States of America is a country with an established democratic system that guards human rights and freedoms. Therefore, the determination of the duration of stay provides for exceptions, which are based on the principle of taking into account important circumstances:

  • those who work for American companies overseas provided that they have applied for maintaining continuous residence status before departure;
  • general requirements do not apply to those who are married to a US citizen, on duty, residing permanently abroad;
  • The US Constitution also provides an exception to this permanent residency rule for those who have served in the US military.

passport book on floor

How to get a Green Card

In fact, the only way to obtain US citizenship by naturalization is to acquire a residence permit, or as it is also called the Green Card. There are several options for obtaining this document:

  • to enter into an official marriage with a citizen or citizen of the United States, while it is necessary to provide joint photographs, accounts, documents for common property, even emails, that is, everything that confirms the fact of marriage and cohabitation in addition to official marriage documents;
  • an application for family reunification of an American citizen who wants his/her sister, brother, parents, or wife to also use the United States to live together;
  • the employer invites a foreigner to work in the United States, and applies for a card for him to the authorities because only the Green Card gives foreigners the right to legally work in the States;
  • obtaining political asylum.

Naturalization process

The prerequisites that must be met when starting the naturalization process are that:

  • an applicant must be at least 18 years old or older;
  • the status of permanent residence is respected;
  • compliance with the status of permanent residence;
  • good knowledge of English;
  • know the history of the United States and understand how the state system of this country works. An applicant should also agree with the principles that the state authorities officially adhere to;
  • adherence to moral rules, no criminal record (except for small and those with a long statute of limitations).

If all these points are met, then the process itself begins, which will take some time, but it necessarily includes the following points:

  • an application is submitted to the Citizenship Service in accordance with Form No. 400, accompanied by a photo, a copy of the card, fingerprints (for those who are under 75).
  • the next stage is that the applicant is checked for illegal actions in his past life;
  • then, the stage of the interview begins, during which the immigration officer finds out all the features of the life of an applicant for US citizenship;
  • during the interview, it is also found out how well the applicant for citizenship knows the English language, can write, read, translate fluently. These are all important points for the adoption of citizenship.

Who will have problems with becoming the US citizen

There will always be questions for those who are trying to enter the United States illegally. But, in addition to this, we can say who have little chance of obtaining US citizenship:

  • who has a criminal record;
  • having received a green card, its owner was out of America for more than six months – this is an important reason for not being able to become a citizen of the United States for a long time;
  • adherence to Islam increases the risk of not even obtaining a residence permit;
  • tax evasion and any tax problems in the country from which the foreigner came to the United States.

Contact us