Keyser Law Firm practices exclusively criminal defense and immigration law. Our dedication and commitment to client service continuously results in criminal charges being dismissed or reduced and immigrants finding a legal pathway to the United States.
Citizenship & Naturalization
Minnesota Citizenship and Naturalization Immigration Law Firm
At Keyser Law Firm, our immigration attorneys are dedicated to helping you fulfill your American Dream by becoming a United States citizen. Our services include evaluating your citizenship case for existing or potential issues or roadblocks, preparing all necessary petitions and supporting paperwork, attending your government interview and joining you at your citizenship ceremony.
Why should I become a U.S. citizen?
Citizens are guaranteed entry into the U.S. and are protected against deportation or removal. Other advantages to becoming a citizen include:
- Immediately qualifying a parent, spouse or unmarried child for permanent residency
- Qualifying married children or siblings for permanent residence
- Voting in U.S. elections
- Obtaining a U.S. passport
- Obtaining certain jobs requiring U.S. citizenship for security clearance
- Holding a public office
How can I become a US citizen?
Generally, there are two ways to become a U.S. citizen:
- Through birth in the United States and in most cases, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. virgin Islands (unless born to a foreign diplomat)
- Through “naturalization”
What if one or both of my parents was a U.S. citizen?
In most cases, you are a U.S. citizen if ALL of the following are true:
- Both your parents were U.S. citizens when you were born; and
- At least one of your parents lived in the United States at some point in their life.
You may also be a U.S. citizen if:
- One of your parents was a U.S. citizen when you were born;
- Your citizen parent lived at least 5 years in the United States before you were born; and
- At least 2 of these 5 years in the United States were after your citizen parent's 14th birthday.
What are the requirements for naturalization?
To become a naturalized U.S. citizen, you must:
- Be a permanent legal residence (“green card” holder) for at least 3 or 5 years, depending on the facts of your case
- Be at least 18 years old
- Meet the residence and “physical presence requirements”
- Display good moral character
- Be able to read, write and speak English
- Pass the English and Civics exam
- Submit a Form N-400 (“Application for Naturalization”)
What is the “physical presence requirement”?
An applicant for naturalization must generally be physically present in the United States for a certain number of years, in addition to having a green card for a minimum of 3 or 5 years. Applicants who have traveled abroad since becoming a legal permanent resident should contact an attorney to confirm that they meet the physical presence requirement.
What is the English and Civic exam?
The English and Civics exam is designed to test an applicant’s ability to read, write and speak basic words and phrases in English. In addition, the applicant must show a basic understanding of U.S. history and government. While applicants must be familiar with 100 possible questions about U.S. history and government, the exam typically only includes 10 questions. There is also a short writing sample.
What happens after I pass the English and Civics exam?
If you pass the English and Civics exam and U.S. Citizenship & Immigrations Services (USCIS) approves your application for naturalization, you must attend a citizenship ceremony and take the Oath of Allegiance to the United States. USCIS will mail notification of your ceremony time and date.
What if my application is denied?
If you believe you were wrongly denied naturalization, you can request an administrative review hearing with an immigration officer. To file for the hearing, you must submit a Form N-336, also called a “Request for Hearing on a Decision in Naturalization Proceedings under Section 336 of the Act.” Further instructions for requesting this hearing are explained in your denial letter.
Can I reapply if my application is denied?
In many cases, you may reapply for naturalization. To reapply, you must submit a new N-400 and pay the appropriate filing fee in addition to having new fingerprints and photographs taken. Your denial letter will indicate the specific date when you are allowed to reapply. If you are denied because you failed the English and Civics exam, you can reapply immediately.
I lost my Certificate of Naturalization and I need to travel outside the U.S. How can I obtain proof of my citizenship to apply for a U.S. passport?
To replace a lost certificate, you must submit a Form N-565 (also called an “Application for Replacement Naturalization Citizenship Document”) with your local immigration office. The Minnesota USCIS office is located at 2901 Metro Drive, Suite 100, in Bloomington, Minnesota, 55425. You can also contact the U.S. Department of State for information on obtaining a U.S. passport.