Oath Of Allegiance"I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely 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; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God."
Citizenship Through NaturalizationNaturalization is the process by which U.S. citizenship is conferred upon a foreign citizen or national. To be eligible for naturalization, the applicant must;
- be at least 18 years old;
- have a period of continuous residence and physical present in the United States;
- demonstrate an ability to read, write, and speak English;
- demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of U.S. history and government;
- be a person of good moral character.
All naturalization applicants must demonstrate good moral character, attachment to the principles of the U.S. Constitution and favorable disposition toward the United States. However, many of the other requirements may be modified or waived for certain applicants.
Continuous Residence And Physical PresenceImmediately preceding the filing of the naturalization application, the applicant must demonstrate that he or she:
- has been lawfully admitted for permanent residence (Note: this requirement may not apply to members of the military who served honorably during times of conflict);
- has resided continuously as a lawful permanent resident in the U.S. for at least 5 years prior to filing, with no single absence from the United States of more than one year (Note: this requirement may vary for spouses of U.S. citizens, members of the military, and spouses of U.S. citizens stationed or employed abroad);
- has been physically present in the United States for at least 30 months out of the previous five years (absences of more than six months but less than one year shall disrput the applican'ts continuity of residence unless the applicant can establish that he or she did not abandon his or her residence during such period) (Note: this requirement may vary for spouses of U.S. citizens, members of the military, and spouses of U.S. citizens stationed or employed abroad);
- has resided within a state or district of the United States for at least three months.
Applicants for naturalization must be able to read, write, speak, and understand words in ordinary usage in the English language. Applicants exempt from this requirement are those who on the date of filing:
- have been residing in the United States subsequent to a lawful admission for permanent residence for periods totaling 15 years or more and are over 55 years of age;
- have been residing in the United States subsequent to a lawful admission for permanent residence for periods totaling 20 years or more and are over 50 years of age; or
- have a medically determinable physical or mental impairment, where the impairment affects the applicant's ability to learn English.
An applicant for naturalization must demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of the fundamentals of the history and of the principles and form of government of the United States. Applicants exempt from this requirement are those who, on the date of filing, have a medically determinable physical or mental impairment, where the impairment affects the applicant's ability to learn. Moreover, applicants who have been residing in the U.S. subsequent to a lawful admission for permanent residence for at least 20 years and are over the age of 65 will be afforded special consideration in satisfying this requirement.
United States Government And History Knowledge
Good Moral CharacterAn applicant must show that he or she has been a person of good moral character for the statutory period prior to filing for naturalization. USCIS is not limited to the statutory period in determining whether an applicant has established good moral character. An applicant is permanently barred from naturalization if he or she has been convicted of an aggravated felony as defined in section 101(a)(43) of the Immigration and Nationality Act on or after November 29, 1990. Additionally, an applicant cannot be found to be a person of good moral character if during the statutory period he or she:
- has committed and been convicted of one or more crimes involving moral turpitude;
- has committed and been convicted of 2 or more offenses for which the total sentence imposed was 5 years or more;
- has committed and been convicted of any controlled substance law, except for a single offense of simple possession of 30 grams or less of marijuana;
- has been confined to a penal institution during the statutory period, as a result of a conviction, for an aggregate period of 180 days or more;
- has committed and been convicted of two or more gambling offenses;
- is or has earned his or her principal income from illegal gambling;
- is or has been involved in prostitution or commercialized vice;
- is or has been involved in smuggling illegal aliens into the United States;
- is or has been a habitual drunkard;
- is practicing or has practiced polygamy;
- has willfully failed or refused to support dependents;
- has given false testimony, under oath, in order to receive a benefit under; the Immigration and Nationality Act.
It is important to note that persons with a criminal history who apply for citizenship may find themselves in removal (deportation) proceedings, in addition to having their citizenship denied. No one who has ever been arrested, even if they do not think they have a conviction, should ever apply for citizenship without speaking to an immigration attorney. Diaz Shafer, P.A. can evaluate your criminal history and determine if that criminal history makes you ineligible for naturalization or creates a risk of removal or deportation.