Colorado Immigration Lawyer

Citizenship and Naturalization

There are numerous benefits to becoming a United States citizen. Becoming a citizen allows a person to petition and bring family members to the United States. United States citizens cannot be deported, while legal permanent residents can be if they are convicted of certain criminal offenses no matter how long they have lived in the United States.

United States citizens can travel easily abroad on U.S. passports. United States citizens do not have to carry proof of their citizenship, while legal permanent residents are required to carry their green cards at all times. United States citizens have the right to vote and can hold positions in public office. Finally, green cards have to be renewed every ten years. Currently, the government fee to renew a green card is $370 and the government fees are continuously rising. In most cases it is in a legal permanent resident’s best interest to naturalize as soon as they meet the basic requirements. The basic requirements that a person must meet to be eligible to naturalize in the United States are the following:


  1. The applicant must be at least 18 years of age;
  2. The applicant must have continuously resided in the U.S. for five years as a lawful permanent resident (3 years if married to a U.S. citizen);
  3. During the five years immediately prior to filing, the applicant must have been physically present in the U.S. for at least half of the time;
  4. The applicant lived for at least three months in the jurisdiction where the Naturalization application is filed
  5. Unless physically unable to do so, an applicant must possess basic English skills and knowledge of the history of the United States;
  6. The applicant must show that, during the five years before filing and up until the final hearing that they have been and still are a person of good moral character;
  7. The applicant must reside continuously within the United States from the date of the naturalization application up to the time of they are granted citizenship; and
  8. Be willing to take an oath of loyalty to the United States

Children under the age of 18 may automatically derive citizenship status upon one parent naturalizing, as long as the child has legal permanent resident status and is in the custody of the naturalizing parent. This method of obtaining citizenship is called derivative naturalization.

Denver Naturalization Attorney

It is important that an applicant consult with a competent immigration attorney before applying for citizenship. Even if a person has been a legal permanent resident for many years, they risk being removed from the United States if it is discovered that they have committed certain crimes, made fraudulent statements to get an immigration benefit in the past, or helped someone enter the United States illegally. United States Citizenship and Immigration Services carefully reviews and researches each applicant to find any possible reason why the applicant may not be eligible for citizenship and why they may have been ineligible for their green card in the first place. Contact Denver, Colorado immigration attorney Bobbie C. Masters to make an appointment to discuss how she can help you obtain U.S. citizenship today.