Lawyers for Naturalization/Citizenship in Houston, TX | Gonzalez Law Group
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Naturalization/Citizenship

A number of different documents are considered acceptable proof of U.S. citizenship. Two of the most common documents are birth certificates issued by U.S. states or the U.S. Department of State and U.S. passports also issued by the Department of State.

For many immigrants, the document used to prove U.S. citizenship is either a Certificate of Citizenship or Naturalization Certificate issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). A Certificate of Citizenship is issued to a person born outside the United States who derived or acquired U.S. citizenship through a U.S. citizen parent, and a Naturalization Certificate is issued to a person who became a U.S. citizen after 18 years of age through the naturalization process.

The naturalization process involves U.S. citizenship being granted to a foreign citizen or national after he or she fulfills the requirements established by Congress in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). In order to apply for naturalization, an immigrant must file a Form N-400, Application for Naturalization, and satisfy other requirements.

Lawyers for Naturalization/Citizenship in Houston, TX

Do you need help obtaining a Certificate of Citizenship or Naturalization Certificate in Harris County? You will want to contact The Gonzalez Law Group as soon as possible.

Our Houston immigration attorneys represent clients in communities in the greater Harris County area including Pearland, Baytown, Seabrook, La Porte, Pasadena, Galena Park, Friendswood and many others. Call (832) 530-4070 to have our lawyers provide a complete evaluation of your case during a free, confidential consultation.


Texas Naturalization/Citizenship Information Center


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Naturalization and Citizenship Certificate Eligibility

A person can file a Form N-600, Application for Certificate of Citizenship, to obtain a Certificate of Citizenship if he or she was born abroad and is claiming U.S. citizenship at birth through his or her parents. The law in effect at the time of birth determines whether someone born outside the United States to a U.S. citizen parent is a U.S. citizen at birth, and the laws generally require that at least one parent was a U.S. citizen and had lived in the United States for a period of time.

Children born outside the United States but now living in the United States can acquire citizenship under INA § 320 when all of the following conditions have been met:

  • The child has at least one parent, including an adoptive parent, who is a U.S. citizen by birth or through naturalization;
  • The child is under 18 years of age;
  • The child is a lawful permanent resident (LPR); and
  • The child is residing in the United States in the legal and physical custody of the U.S. citizen parent.

Children residing outside of the United States can obtain citizenship under INA § 322 when all of the following conditions have been met:

  • The child has at least one parent, including an adoptive parent, who is a U.S. citizen by birth or through naturalization;
  • The child’s U.S. citizen parent or U.S. citizen grandparent meets certain physical presence requirements in the United States or an outlying possession;
  • The child is under 18 years of age;
  • The child is residing outside of the United States in the legal and physical custody of the U.S. citizen parent, or of a person who does not object to the application if the U.S. citizen parent is deceased; and
  • The child is lawfully admitted, physically present, and maintaining a lawful status in the United States at the time the application is approved and the time of naturalization.

In order to obtain a Naturalization Certificate, an individual will have to file a Form N-400, Application for Naturalization. Applicants also need to satisfy the following requirements:

  • Be at least 18 years old at the time of filing Form N-400, Application for Naturalization;
  • Be an LPR or have a green card for at least five years;
  • Proof of at least three months residence in the state or USCIS district where applying;
  • Demonstrate continuous residence in the United States for at least five years immediately preceding the date of filing Form N-400;
  • Show that you have been physically present in the United States for at least 30 months out of the five years immediately preceding the date of filing Form N-400;
  • Be able to read, write, and speak basic English;
  • Have a basic understanding of U.S. history and government (civics);
  • Be a person of good moral character; and
  • Demonstrate an attachment to the principles and ideals of the U.S. Constitution.

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Naturalization and Citizenship Certificate Process

After a person completes a Form N-600, Application for Certificate of Citizenship, USCIS will notify the applicant of acceptance of the application. Some applicants for Certificates of Citizenship may be required to appear for in-person interviews.

If USCIS approves the Form N-600, the agency will issue a Certificate of Citizenship. If USCIS denies the Form N-600, the applicant can file an appeal on Form I-290B, Notice of Appeal or Motion, within 30 days of the date of the USCIS decision.

After the time for appeal has expired, a person cannot file another Form N-600. Instead, he or she must file a motion to reopen or reconsider, also on Form I-290B.

With a Naturalization Certificate, an applicant who has submitted a Form N-400, Application for Naturalization, will have to go to a biometrics appointment for fingerprinting. Naturalization applicants will have to complete citizenship interviews with USCIS officers.

In addition to the USCIS Officer asking questions about an applicant’s Form N-400 and background during the naturalization interview, an applicant will also need to take an English and civics test unless he or she qualifies for an exemption or waiver. An applicant can submit a Form N-648, Medical Certification for Disability Exceptions if he or she is unable to comply with requirements because of a physical or developmental disability or a mental impairment.

An applicant is also exempt from the English language requirement (but is still required to take the civics test) if he or she is:

  • 50 years of age or older at the time of filing for naturalization and has lived as an LPR or green card holder in the United States for 20 years (commonly referred to as the “50/20 exception”); or
  • 55 years of age or older at the time of filing for naturalization and has lived as an LPR in the United States for 15 years (commonly referred to as the “55/15 exception”).

The English test has three components (reading, writing, and speaking), while the civics test covers U.S. history and government topics. The speaking test involves an applicant’s ability to speak English as determined by a USCIS Officer during the eligibility interview on Form N-400.

The other tests include:

  • Reading Test — An applicant must read aloud one out of three sentences correctly to demonstrate an ability to read in English;
  • Writing Test — An applicant must write out one of three sentences correctly to demonstrate an ability to write in English; and
  • Civics Test — An applicant will be asked up to 10 questions from a list of 100 questions, and must answer correctly six of the 10 questions to pass the civics test.

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Naturalization/Citizenship Resources in Harris County

Houston USCIS Office — The USCIS Application Support Center in Houston provides services to the general public by appointment. Use this website to check your case status and check processing times. You can also change you address and submit case inquiries.

USCIS Application Support Center

8505 Gulf Fwy.

Suite A

Houston, TX 77017

(800) 375-5283

Citizenship & Naturalization – Volume 12 | Policy Manual | USCIS — The USCIS Policy Manual is the agency’s centralized online repository for USCIS’ immigration policies. Learn more about citizenship and naturalization policies and procedures, naturalization examination, and accommodations. You can also find information about general naturalization requirements, English and civics testing and exceptions, and good moral character.


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Naturalization/Citizenship Attorneys in Houston, TX

If you are hoping to obtain a Naturalization Certificate or Certificate of Citizenship in Southeast Texas, it is in your best interest to make sure that you retain legal counsel. The Gonzalez Law Group helps individuals throughout Harris County, Friendswood, Pearland, Seabrook, League City, Deer Park, Pasadena, La Porte, Galena Park, Baytown and many others.

Our immigration lawyers in Houston can make sure that your application is properly completed and satisfies all of the necessary requirements. You can have our attorneys review your case and discuss all of your legal options when you call (832) 530-4070 or submit an online contact form to schedule a free initial consultation.

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