Category Archives: Path to Citizenship

For many around the world, immigrating to the United States is the American dream. Immigration Insider articles in this category include information about the many paths to U.S. citizenship.

Green Card through Marriage to a U.S. Citizen

Green Card through Marriage to US CitizenGetting a green card through marriage to a U.S. citizen is one of the fastest ways to obtain permanent residence (and citizenship) in the United States. But it can also create significant immigration problems for couples that don’t understand the U.S. immigration system.

Permanent residence is not automatic after marriage. There is an application process that must be followed. Although a green card through marriage to a U.S. citizen is one of the quickest ways to immigrate, there are several steps that include application forms, a medical examination, fingerprinting, and various approvals. For certain people, applying for a green card through marriage can create significant, long-term immigration problems. Continue reading

Divorce After Green Card

How Divorce Can Affect Your Immigration Status

divorce after green cardDivorce can be a devastating life event. It’s emotionally exhausting, financially costly and can even affect one’s immigration status in the United States. A divorce after green card may introduce new challenges to a permanent resident. But in other cases, it’s not an issue.

Before you file another application or petition with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), take the time to understand how your divorce or annulment may affect your situation. Continue reading

Marriage to a U.S. Citizen After a Visa Overstay

Marriage to a U.S. Citizen After a Visa OverstayThe questions vary from, “Can I stay in the U.S. after a visa overstay and marriage to a U.S. citizen?” to “What happens if my visa expires and I’m married?” These questions are concerned with obtaining a legal status in the United States despite a period of unlawful presence.

Spouses of U.S. citizens do have special immigration privileges. They benefit from certain provisions in the law that are favorable in cases where the intending immigrant has overstayed a visa. But it’s important Continue reading

Travel Abroad Affects N-400 Citizenship Eligibility

Travel Abroad Affects N-400 Eligibility for us citizenshipWhen applying for U.S. citizenship via naturalization, English and civics tests get much of the attention. But permanent residents often do not understand how travel abroad can affect their eligibility for naturalization.

Two related but separate requirements, continuous residence and physical presence, must be satisfied for one to be eligible to file Form N-400, Application for Naturalization. Excessive travel abroad can adversely affect eligibility. Excessive travel can include one long trip or the accumulation of several trips over the period that precedes your admission as a U.S. citizen. Continue reading

Applying for Citizenship Through Marriage

Applying for Citizenship through MarriageSpecial rules in U.S. immigration law allow permanent residents applying for citizenship through marriage to become naturalized in just three years. Most permanent residents must live in the United States for a minimum of five years before applying for citizenship. However, the spouse of a U.S. citizen who resides in the United States may be eligible to file Form N-400, Application for Naturalization, on the basis of his or her marriage after just three years.

The Immigration and Naturalization Act (INA Section 319(a)) describes the special provisions for the spouse of a U.S. citizen living in the United States. The spouse must have continuously resided Continue reading

Top 7 Questions When Applying for Citizenship

apply for citizenship questionsAre you thinking about applying for citizenship but still have some lingering questions? These are the top 7 questions asked by people getting ready to file Form N-400, Application for Naturalization (also known as the U.S. citizenship application).

There are an estimated 8 million permanent residents who are eligible for citizenship but are cautious because of the unknown. It’s a big step. Here’s what many of them want to know. Continue reading

5 Ways to Lose Permanent Resident Status

Ways to Lose Permanent Residence StatusAs the name suggests, permanent resident status is generally constant. It’s granted to people who intend to live in the United States for the foreseeable future. Permanent residents, also known as green card holders, have the privilege of living and working in the United States permanently. However, there are ways to lose permanent resident status. Certain actions can trigger removal (deportation) proceedings and the potential loss of this coveted immigration status.

The article discusses the major ways that one can lose permanent resident status, but it isn’t an exhaustive list. Only a lawful permanent resident who naturalizes as a U.S. citizen is safe from most of these grounds of removal. Continue reading

Top 7 Green Card Renewal Questions

green card renewal questionsPermanent residents use Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card, to apply for the replacement or renewal of an existing Permanent Resident Card (green card).

Many permanent residents use CitizenPath to prepare Form I-90. The low-cost, do-it-yourself software was designed by immigration attorneys to make the application easy and help applicants avoid mistakes. Get started for free. Only pay if you’re eligible. Try it now >>

Failing to keep an up-to-date green card can make it difficult to travel internationally or to prove your eligibility for employment in the United States. In fact, an expired green card creates four urgent problems. Continue reading

Derivation of U.S. Citizenship for Children

U.S. Citizenship for ChildrenContrary to popular belief, children (minors under the age of 18) generally cannot become naturalized citizens of the United States. By law, applicants for naturalization must be 18 years of age.

But don’t worry. This means that they cannot file the naturalization application or be included on their parents’ application. Instead, children that meet certain criteria automatically gain U.S. citizenship when a parent naturalizes, a provision in the law known as derivation of U.S. citizenship for children. Continue reading

How to Apply for US Citizenship

How to Apply for CitizenshipIf you’re a permanent resident in the United States, the process to apply for citizenship is fairly straight forward. After confirming your eligibility, there’s a form to file, fee to pay and a citizenship test with the interview. It may sound challenging. But as an immigrant, you’ve already overcome so much more.

The process of applying for citizenship is known as naturalization. It’s the most common way that foreign nationals become U.S. citizens. An estimated 8.8 million permanent residents in the United States are eligible to naturalize right now. It’s easy to remain a permanent resident, but there are significant advantages to becoming a citizen. In a more contentious immigration environment, it helps insulate you from problems down the road. There are also more job opportunities, scholarships for students, and independence from more immigration fees. Continue reading