What is the Fastest Way to Get U.S. Citizenship in Arizona?
People can significantly reduce their waiting time for naturalization when they are married to a United States citizen or have served in the United States military, as people currently married to and living with United States citizens can reduce their waiting periods from five years to three and people who serve in the United States military only need to wait one year to apply for U.S. Citizenship. Even when these scenarios apply to your case, you will want to work with a Phoenix immigration attorney for help getting approved as soon as possible.
When a person is not a United States citizen by birth or did not acquire or derive United States citizenship from their parent(s) automatically after birth, an applicant will have to be at least 18 years of age and be a permanent resident of the United States who has been issued a Permanent Resident Card (otherwise known as a green card). If a person has been a permanent resident for five years or more, they cannot have been out of the country for more than 30 months, must not have taken any trips outside the country that lasted one year or more, must have resided in the district or state in which they are applying for at least three months, be able to read, write, and speak basic English, and know the fundamentals of American history and the form and principles of the United States government.
Applicants also must be people of good moral character and either registered with the Selective Service, did not enter the United States under any status until after their 26th birthday, or be men who were in the United States between the ages of 18 and 26 but did not register with the Selective Service and will send a “Status Information Letter” from the Selective Service to explain why they did not register an application. Men who were in the United States between the ages of 18 and 26 as lawful nonimmigrants are also eligible, and applicants must also never have deserted from the United States Armed Forces, never received an exemption or discharge from the United States Armed Forces on grounds they were an alien, be willing to perform either military or civilian service if required by law, pledge to support the Constitution of the United States, and understand and be willing to take an oath of allegiance to the United States.
When an applicant has been a permanent resident for three to five years, they must be living with a United States citizen, have been married to a United States citizen for at least the past three years, their spouse must have been a United States citizen for the past three years, and not have been out of the country for 18 months or more during the past three years. If an applicant is out of the country for 30 months or more, they will have to either be a person who served on board a vessel operated by or registered in the United States, be an employee or an individual under contract to the United States Government, or be a person who performs ministerial or priestly functions for either a religious denomination or an interdenominational organization that has a valid presence in the United States.
If a person has been out of the country for one year or more, they cannot take a trip out of the United States lasting one year or more without submitting an approved Form N-470, Application to Preserve Residence for Naturalization Purposes, since becoming a permanent resident. People who cannot satisfy these requirements will not be eligible to apply for naturalization.
Filing Your N-400 in Arizona
People can file an N-400, Application for Naturalization, online or by mail. There is a $640 filing fee as well as an $85 biometric fee, or a total of $725.
Required initial evidence for N-400 forms includes:
- A copy of your Permanent Resident Card
- A copy of your marriage certificate (when applicable)
- Form N-426, Request for Certification of Military or Naval Service (when a person is applying for naturalization based on their military service)
- DD Form 214, NGB Form 22, or discharge orders (when a person is applying for naturalization based on their military service and separated from service)
- A copy of a person’s official military orders (when a person is applying for naturalization based on military service and currently serving)
- Evidence of a citizen spouse’s employment abroad (when a person is applying under the Immigration and Nationality Act [INA] § 319(b))
- Two passport-style photographs (when a person resides outside the United States)
Once a person files Form N-400 and the initial application is processed, USCIS sets an appointment for a person to come and have their biometric data taken. After a biometric screening, the person must attend another appointment for their citizenship interview at which they take an English Language Test and Naturalization Test.
Following an interview and testing, USCIS renders a decision on the person’s application status. If the person is then approved, they are invited to attend a naturalization ceremony where they take an Oath of Allegiance to the United States and gain United States citizenship.
Alternatives to Naturalization in Arizona
Naturalization is not the only way for a person to get U.S. Citizenship in Arizona. Becoming a citizen is also possible when a person is married to a United States citizen.
An applicant will have to submit Form I-130, Petition for an Alien Relative, which establishes a relationship between an applicant and their significant other. This form will require the following:
- Evidence of U.S. Citizenship in Arizona, lawful permanent residence, or United States national status such as a copy of a person’s birth certificate issued by a civil registrar, vital statistics office, or other civil authority showing they were born in the United States, a copy of a person’s naturalization or citizenship certificate issued by either USCIS or the former Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), a copy of Form FS-240, Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA), issued by a United States Embassy or United States Consulate, a copy of a person’s unexpired United States passport, an original statement from a United States consular officer verifying a person is a United States citizen with a valid passport or a copy of the front and back of a person’s Permanent Resident Card (Green Card).
- Evidence of family relationship with a spouse through a copy of a marriage certificate, or evidence the person or their spouse terminated any prior marriages, a child through a copy of a child’s birth certificate, a parent through a copy of a person’s birth certificate, or a brother or sister through a copy of birth certificates for the person and their sibling
- Evidence of the bona fides of marriage when petitioning for a spouse, including documentation showing joint ownership of property, a lease demonstrating joint tenancy of a common residence, meaning both parties live at the same address together, documentation proving that a person and their spouse have combined their financial resources, birth certificates of children born to a person and their spouse together, affidavits sworn to or affirmed by third parties having personal knowledge of the bona fides of a marital relationship with each affidavit containing the full name and address of the person making the affidavit, the date and place of birth of the person making the affidavit, and complete information and details explaining how such people acquired their knowledge of the marriage, and any other relevant documentation establishing that there is an ongoing marital union
- Proof of a legal name change (when applicable)
- Two passport-style photographs (when applicable)
A person can also earn U.S. Citizenship in Arizona through parents who live in the United States and are still married. This method allows people born outside the United States to seek citizenship so long as one parent lived within the United States prior to the child’s birth.
A parent must have lived in the United States for at least five years prior to the birth of a child. When parents are no longer married, a person can still seek citizenship so long as the father has been a citizen of the United States when the child was born and can provide proof that he’s the biological father or the mother has been a citizen of the United States when the child was born and was also on American territory for at least one year.
Finally, the military can also be an option to seek citizenship. A person who is seeking citizenship through service in the United States Armed Forces must be able to understand the American government and history of the United States, be at least 18 years of age when applying, know how to read, write, and speak basic English, and be a morally good person, meaning they pay taxes and child support and have not been convicted of any serious crimes.
Call Us Today to Schedule a Free Consultation with a Phoenix Immigration Attorney
If you are trying to figure out how you can seek U.S. Citizenship in Arizona, you do not have to handle everything on your own, and you will benefit from retaining legal counsel. Contact Diamondback Legal to get help with every aspect of the naturalization and citizenship process so you can know exactly which challenges to expect and how you will be able to overcome them.
Our firm has a wealth of experience in both family-based and employment-based immigration cases, and we understand that every single person who speaks with us has their own unique case with individual issues that require close examination and understanding. You can call (602) 492-9437 or contact us online to arrange a free consultation with our Phoenix immigration lawyer.
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