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When can I apply for naturalization?

Lynnwood, WA |

Iam a geern card holder since 2002
Reentered the states in 2006 within a re-entry permit .I do not know when I can apply for naturalization...I can not afford paying a lawer, is there a free lawer who can help me ( by email) ??

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Attorney answers 2


Here is the basic outline of the rules as they apply for naturalization:

3) When can I apply for U.S. citizenship?
Individuals who satisfy the residence, physical presence and other requirements are eligible to apply for U.S. citizenship after they have been permanent residents (green card holders) for five years. If you are married to a U.S. citizen, you are eligible to apply for citizenship after three years of marriage as long as residence, physical presence and other requirements are met.
An applicant for U.S. citizenship must demonstrate good moral character, English literacy, and knowledge of U.S. history. In addition, there are U.S. residence and physical presence requirements which must be met. In brief, the applicant for naturalization must have been physically present in the U.S. for at least half of the qualifying period (5 or 3 years as described above) and must have maintained his or her primary place of abode in the U.S. for the entire qualifying period (e.g. extended absences from the U.S. may interrupt the qualifying period).

The question, how long did you spend outside the United States since you became a permanent resident?

Best regards,

Charles H. Kuck
Managing Partner
Kuck Immigration Partners LLC--The Immigration Law Firm
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The Guide to Naturalization has the general requirements for a person to be eligible for naturalization. The Guide is free at .

There are organizations that help individuals with filling out immigration forms. There are community colleges and other places that offer free classes on naturalization.

I doubt that there is "a free lawer who can help" you. The attorney has to have money to pay his own expenses. Preparing an immigration form often takes more than just filling in the blanks.

If you needed a re-entry permit to enter the US, you likely have broken your continuous presence on US soil.

Check the Guide to see whether you qualify for naturalization.