My stepson got his green card last year (he is currently 14). He came to the U.S. with his father on a fiancé visa. If his father does not apply for U.S. citizenship can my stepson apply for citizenship for himself when he turns 18 years old?
He can apply for citizenship four years and nine months after he becam a permanent resident. There are other conditions that have to be met so he should consult an immigration attorney before he does anything as he could be risking his status if USCIS finds out, during th naturalization process , that he is for some reason, usually related to criminal activity, removable. That is probably not the situation in your stepson's case but it is always wise to make sure that there aren't any potential problems. Obviously he should make sure that, eligibility for citizenship still being roughly 4 years ahead, he stays out of trouble between now and then.
I am a lawyer, but I am not your lawyer (unless you have been in my office and signed a contract). This communication is not intended as legal advice, and no attorney client relationship results. Please consult your own attorney for legal advice.
Once your stepson has been a legal permanent resident for the requisite amount of time (5 years, but apply 90 days prior) he will be eligible to naturalize to a U.S. citizen. Even if your husband does not apply for citizenship, the stepson can.
When he turns 18 he will be able to apply for US Citizenship. To qualify for naturalization:
1. Must be an LPR
2. Must be 18 years old
3. Must normally be a resident continuously for 3 years or 5 years subsequent to LPR status
4. Must have resided for at least three months within the state in which the petition was filed.
5. Must be physically present in the U.S. for at least one-half of the 5 years (or one-half of 3 years if the applicant is the spouse of a USC).
6. Must have resided continuously within the U.S. from the date the application filed up to the time of admission to citizenship.
7. Must not be absent from the U.S. for a continuous period of more than one year during the periods for which continuous residence is required.
8. Must be a person of good moral character for the requisite 5 years (or in the case of a spouse of a USC three years, or person in the military one year under §1440(b)) prior to filing and up to the time of admission. This means if there are criminal or moral issues we must review those records when considering this application.
9. Must be attached to the principles of the Constitution and well-disposed to the good order and happiness of the U.S
10. Must be willing to "(A) bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law, or (B) to perform noncombat service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law, or (C) to perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law."
11. Must not otherwise be barred as a:
b. Member of the Communist Party
c. Military deserter
d. In Removal
e. An alien who applied for and received relief from the Selective Service system based on his or her alienage 12. Civics and English language requirement a.
At the interview you must demonstrate:
(1) An elementary level reading, writing and understanding of the English language,
(2) A knowledge and understanding of the fundamentals of the history and government of the U.S b. The English language requisites shall not apply to (1) persons who are over 50 and living in U.S. for 20 years subsequent to LPR status; or (2) persons who are over 55 years of age and living in U.S. for 15 years subsequent to LPR status.
Mr. Smith is an attorney with over 25 years of immigration experience with complex immigration issues and successful filings. His response to your question is general in nature, as not all the facts are known to him. You should retain an attorney experienced in immigration law to review all the facts in your case in order to receive advice specific to your case. Mr. Smith's statement above does not create an attorney/client relationship.
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