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Over the past couple years, more and more lawful permanent residents are deciding to gain naturalization here in the United States. Despite this encouraging rise, the process of naturalization hasn’t gotten any easier. In fact, understanding the requirements and procedure is a common complaint amongst immigrants and residents.

In order to help clear up some of the confusion, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) agency has taken steps to update its policy on naturalization. In particular, it has sharpened the definition of who is and who isn’t a lawful permanent resident (LPR).

The newly updated naturalization eligibility requirements state:

  • – Applicants must be 18+ years old.
  • – Applicant must be able to prove their lawful admittance into the US.
    • + Failure to provide proof of lawful admittance invalidates a resident’s eligibility for naturalization.
    • + Fixed marriages used to obtain green cards are not considered valid means of lawful admittance.
  • – Applicant has received USCIS approval for status application adjustment; or applicant was an LPR at the time they entered the country due to American Embassy procedures.
  • – LPR status is not granted until the immigration case is approved and closed.
    • + There is no time limit on USCIS case approval; applicants may be through the system within a matter of weeks, or a matter of years.
  • – Conditional permanent residents (CPR) may gain naturalization three years from status approval and after CPR status is removed.
  • – Criminal record and activity can remove eligibility and also lead to deportation or criminal processing.

All previous naturalization eligibility requirements still stand. This includes living in the country as an LPR for 5 or more years, spending at least 30 months physically within the country’s borders during that 5 year period, taking an Oath of Allegiance, and so on.

If you have any questions regarding the naturalization process or any other aspect of US immigration law, you are highly encouraged to contact USILaw today. You can also fill out an online case evaluation form and we will get back to you as soon as we can.

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