What are the basic requirements to apply for naturalization?

To be eligible for naturalization (citizenship), you must: 1) be at least 18 years old; 2) be a permanent resident for 3-5 years (depending on how you obtained status); 3) be a person of good moral character; 4) have a basic knowledge of U.S. government (this requirement can be waived due to permanent physical or mental impairment); 5) have a period of continuous residence and physical presence in the U.S.; 6) be able to read, write and speak basic English (there are exceptions).  For more information, visit http://www.uscis.gov.

How can I have conditions of residence removed from my green card?

In order to remain a permanent resident past the 2 years for which your conditional permanent resident card (green card) is approved, you must file a petition to remove the condition during the 90 days before the card expires.  The conditional card cannot be renewed.  The conditions must be removed or you will lose your permanent resident status.  To remove the conditions on a green card based on marriage, you will need to file a Form I-751.  To remove conditions on a green card for businesses, you must file Form I-829.  Both of these forms can be found at http://www.uscis.gov.

How do I get a reentry permit?

Without a reentry permit, your green card becomes invalid for reentry into the U.S. if you are out of the country for one year or more.  In addition, your permanent resident may be considered abandoned for absences shorter than one year if you take up residence in another country.  A Form I-131, Application for Travel Document, should be filed no fewer than 60 days before you plan to travel abroad.  You must be in the U.S. when you file.  The instructions and form can be found at http://www.uscis.gov.  This will allow you to travel abroad for up to 2 years without having to obtain a returning resident visa.  Many countries allow you to use the reentry permit much like you would use a passport.  Be sure to check with any country you plan to visit about its specific requirements before you travel.  For more information, visit http://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/USCIS/Resources/B5en.pdf.


This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice, please feel free to contact Immigration Attorney, Matthew L. White at  480.461.5304, log on to udallshumway.com,  or contact an attorney in your area.