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How to apply for U.S. Citizenship? (primarily for citizens under the compact of free association)

Sierra Vista, AZ |

Hello and thank you for your time. My main question would be how to apply for U.S. citizenship as a permanent non immigrant. I am a Micronesian Citizen and under the Compact of Free Association signed by former Pres Reagan, it states that Micronesian Citizens can work and live freely within the U.S. without the need of a "GreenCard." With that being said, do i get a special exception when applying for U.S. citizenship since i am not labeled a "permanent resident" although i am lawfully legal resident? I have called the USCIS offices and they always give me the run around but have no legit answer for me as well. I figured I would try this website out. Any and all feedback would be greatly appreciated. Thank You.

Attorney Answers 3


  1. This is not the type of question one can answer without further research. You really need to retain an experienced immigration attorney. The only thing I now is that you do not need a visa to enter the US BUT you are required to apply for an EAD-Employment Authorization Document that would legally allow you to work in the US. I don't think standing alone your eligible to apply for US citizenship or naturalization unless you go through the process of getting a green card and then waiting 5 years. BUT I could be wrong, again this issue is not common and must be thoroughly researched. good luck.


  2. FSM and RMI citizens admitted to the United States under the Compacts may reside, work and study in the United States, but they are not “lawful permanent residents” (also known as “green card holders”) under the Immigration and Nationality Act. They are not precluded, however, from becoming lawful permanent residents if otherwise eligible under the immigration laws, either through the immigrant visa process or by adjustment of status within the United States A person must be granted lawful permanent resident status in the United States if he or she eventually wishes to apply for naturalization as a U. S. citizen.

    What this means, YOU will need to become a permanent resident before you can apply for naturalization

    Reza Athari
    Attorney at Law
    Certified Specialist - Immigration and Nationality Law
    State Bar of California - Board of Legal Specialization
    http://members.calbar.ca.gov/search/member_detail.aspx?x=186915

    Main office: Las Vegas, Nevada
    Reza Athari & Associates, Pllc

    3365 Pepper Lane, Suite 102
    Las Vegas, NV 89120
    Telephone: (702) 727-7777
    Fax: (702) 458-8508
    Toll free: (800) 565-2030
    http://www.atharilaw.com/index-6.html

    Barstow, California
    Reza Athari & Associates, Pllc

    309 East Mountain View Street, Suite 104
    Barstow, CA 92311
    Telephone: (760) 957-7220
    Fax: (760) 957-7396

    St. George, Utah
    Reza Athari & Lui, Pllc

    1036 East Red Hills Parkway, Suite D
    St. George, UT 84770
    Telephone: (435) 656-1136
    Fax: (435) 656-1145
    http://www.stgimmigrationattorneys.com/

    Salt Lake City, Utah
    Reza Athari & Lui, Pllc

    525 W 5300 S Suite 150
    Murray, UT 84123
    Telephone: (801) 262-LAW7
    Fax: (801) 281-9603


  3. Attorney Athari gave a great answer. This is quite complicated. Meet with an attorney.
    _______________________________________________________________________________________
    Franco Capriotti - Senior Legal Counsel & Former Professor of Immigration Law - Capriotti International Law

    FIRST 5-10 MINUTE CONSULTATION IS FREE (SKYPE or phone only). e-mail to set up a time that is convenient for both of us: franco@capriotti.com

    NO MATTER WHERE YOU ARE, WE CAN HELP. Our services are not limited by State, nor International bounderies. Our licenses allow us to represent people worldwide.
    _______________________________________________________________________________________
    Do not rely completely on information you get on a website. It is always wise to consult personally with an immigration attorney before taking any action.

    Consider contacting one of the attorneys on Avvo, or www.ailalawyer.com - If you are low income go here: www.justice.gov/eoir/probono/states.htm or http://www.immigrationlawhelp.org/
    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    FORMER IMMIGRATION LAW PROFESSOR -- LEGAL DISCLAIMER: This answer is offered for informational purposes only. It does not constitute an attorney-client relationship.

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