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Immigration & Naturalization

Beaumont Immigration Naturalization Lawyer

Beaumont Immigration Naturalization Lawyer

Obtaining citizenship is a long journey, but one that will ultimately reward you with permanent residence in the U.S., the right to vote, and protection from deportation.

While a green card can allow you indefinite residence in the country, it does not protect you from deportation after an arrest, nor will it help you expedite residency requests for extended family members.  At the law firm of Galmor, Stovall & Gilthorpe, PLLC, our immigration lawyers in Beaumont and Southeast Texas will help you understand how the system works and guide you through each step in the process to becoming a United States citizen.

General Naturalization Requirements

Age – Applicants must be at least 18 years old.
Residency – An applicant must have been lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence. Lawfully admitted for permanent residence means having been legally accorded the privilege of residing permanently in the United States as an immigrant in accordance with the immigration laws. Individuals who have been lawfully admitted as permanent residents will be asked to produce an I-551, Alien Registration Receipt Card, as proof of their status. Residence and Physical Presence-An applicant is eligible to file if, immediately preceding the filing of the application, he or she:
Residence and Physical Presence – An applicant is eligible to file if, immediately preceding the filing of the application, he or she:
has been lawfully admitted for permanent residence (see preceding section).
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.
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 disrupt the applicant’s continuity of residence unless the applicant can establish that he or she did not abandon his or her residence during such period)
has resided within a state or district for at least three months
Good Moral Character – Generally, an applicant must show that he or she has been a person of good moral character for the statutory period (typically five years or three years if married to a U.S. citizen or one year for Armed Forces expedite) prior to filing for naturalization. The Service 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 ever been convicted of murder. An applicant is also permanently barred from naturalization if he or she has been convicted of an aggravated felony as defined in section 101(a)(43) of the Act on or after November 29, 1990. A person also cannot be found to be a person of good moral character if during the last five years 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
Attachment to the Constitution – An applicant must show that he or she is attached to the principles of the Constitution of the United States.
Language – Applicants for naturalization must be able to read, write, speak, and understand words in ordinary usage in the English language.
Exemption from language requirement – 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.
United States Government and History Knowledge – United States Government and History Knowledge – 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.
Exemption from US Government and History Knowledge – 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 U.S. History and Government; and 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.
Oath of Allegiance – To become a citizen, one must take the oath of allegiance. By doing so, an applicant swears to:
support the Constitution and obey the laws of the U.S.
renounce any foreign allegiance and/or foreign title; and
bear arms for the Armed Forces of the U.S. or perform services for the government of the U.S. when required.

In certain instances, where the applicant establishes that he or she is opposed to any type of service in armed forces based on religious teaching or belief, INS will permit these applicants to take a modified oath.

The oath of allegiance is as follows –
“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.”
Voting and Citizenship – One of the most important privileges of democracy in the United States of America is the right to participate in choosing elected officials through voting. As a Permanent Resident you can only vote in local and state elections that do not require you to be a US citizen. It is very important that you do not vote in national, state or local elections that require a voter to be a US citizen when you are not a US citizen. There are criminal penalties for voting when you are not yet a US citizen and it is a requirement for voting. You can be removed (deported) from the US if you vote in elections limited to US citizens without the right to do so.