Skilled Guidance with Citizenship Issues in Chelsea, MA 

Experienced immigration attorneys work to help you become a U.S. citizen

American citizenship is the goal of many immigrants who come to the United States. It’s a long process, so you want to avoid any setbacks, whether they’re due to mistakes on your part or bureaucratic errors by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). At Georges Cote LLP in Chelsea, our immigration attorneys are ready to help you clear the hurdles and realize your dream of American citizenship. For decades, we have helped green card holders complete the naturalization process. If you are ready to take the oath, we can guide you every step of the way.

What are the requirements to become a U.S. citizen?   

U.S. citizenship is open to lawful permanent residents (green card holders) who are 18 years of age or older and have been in the United States for at least three years. Applicants must be prepared to demonstrate:

  • Good moral character
  • Compliance with applicable Selective Service law for men in the applicable age group
  • A willingness to support the U.S. Constitution and take an oath of loyalty

If you have lived here for at least three but fewer than five years, you must also meet these requirements:

  • Be married to, and living with, a U.S. citizen for at least three years
  • Your spouse must have been a U.S. citizen for at least the past three years
  • You have not been out of the country for 18 months or more over the last three years

Applicants must be proficient in basic English and meet the civics requirement unless they are exempt due to age or disability. Our immigration attorneys can thoroughly explain the law to you and help prepare your application to improve your chances of acceptance.

Convictions for certain criminal offenses might not disqualify you

An arrest or a conviction of a minor offense can be an impediment to your application for citizenship, but it need not be a disqualifying factor. If an incident occurred when you were young and not yet assimilated into American life, you might be eligible for an expungement that would remove the arrest from your record. We can also help place the incident in proper context of your overall life, demonstrating that you nevertheless qualify as an applicant of good moral character.

Is dual citizenship permitted?

Dual citizenship means that you retain your citizenship from your nation of origin while acquiring U.S. citizenship. This would allow you to travel outside the United States on the passport of either country and enjoy the benefits of citizenship when you visit your first home. But does the United States allow dual citizenship?

Congress has passed no law permitting dual citizenship and the U.S. oath of citizenship clearly states that the new citizen does “renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen.” However, the oath has proven largely ceremonial, since the U.S. government does not require naturalized citizens to take formal steps to renounce citizenship. Whether you can retain your citizenship from your nation of origin depends largely on that country’s laws.

Contact a knowledgeable Massachusetts immigration attorney for a free consultation

Georges Cote LLP advocates for permanent residents throughout Massachusetts and other locations who want to become U.S. citizens. For a free initial consultation, please call 617-884-1000 or contact us online. We are located in Chelsea.