How to become a US Citizen

October 2018

Naturalization Petitions Rise as Election Arrives

There has been an increase in naturalization petitions this year as we approach the mid term elections. Meanwhile the president, fearing loss at the polls proposed to eliminate U.S. citizenship to American born babies of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents only. The number of applications for naturalization has doubled and the process is taking twice as long, up from 5 months in 2016 to 10 months in 2018. And there are charges that USCIS is delaying applications prior to this election.

In addition USCIS is reviewing applications with greater scrutiny, going back in time to when an applicant became a resident to see if they were actually qualified for legal residence at the time they applied. And the Trump administration is seeking to prevent residence to those whose US citizen family members have received public assistance.

It is advisable before applying for Naturalization to consult with competent legal counsel on issues of good moral character, length of residency and how obtained , IRS tax filings etc.

In order to apply for United States Citizenship through Naturalization you must meet the following requirements:

  • Be a legal permanent resident (LPR) for five years (three if currently married to the U.S. citizen through whom you earned residency)
  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Demonstrate five years of Good Moral Character
  • Pass the English test and U.S. History/Civics examination

Included in our service for clients seeking Naturalization are the following:

  • Counsel on your record of Good Moral Character
  • Preparation for the new, more difficult History/Civics examination
  • Coaching for the citizenship interview


  • USCIS has been looking back at who filed for an how a current lawful permanent resident obtained their status when they are either applying for citizenship now or attempting to sponsor a family member for residence. Consult with an immigration attorney before filing.
  • “Good Moral Character” is a legal term that evolves over time. Please visit our page on Good Moral Character to learn more about what the term means. Also, if you contact our Reno office for a free consultation we can explain this requirement in greater detail.