Immigration Lawyers

Applying for US Citizenship


Applying to Naturalize as a US citizen

Green Card holders should apply for US citizenship as soon as they are eligible for it.

Why the rush? Firstly, a Green Card holder needs to reside and have the center of their life in the US. If they don’t, they risk their Green Card being taken off them. It can happen that a Green Card holder needs to move back to their home country to be with their family or for work reasons. We hear countless stories of Green Card holders leaving the US thinking it will be a short trip, only to stay abroad for years and jeopardize their Green Card. A US citizen doesn’t need to reside in the US and can live outside the US for as many years as they want.

A Green Card can be taken off you even if you never leave the United States. In certain cases of criminal convictions, you could have your Green Card taken off you and be deported to your home country. Although most people don’t intend to be convicted of a crime, it does happen. You may also be deported if you do not apply to renew your Green Card on time. A US citizen does not need to renew their US passport if they don’t intend to leave the country.

As a Green Card holder, you may wonder when you can apply for citizenship. You may submit your application once you have lived in the US as a Green Card holder for five years. If you received your Green Card through your spouse, you are eligible to apply for citizenship after 3 years.

It’s important to note that during those five years as a Green Card holder, you should spend at least 50% of each calendar year in the US. This is to ensure that your application goes smoothly and there is no question regarding your “life center” being in the US. If you do not do this from the beginning of receiving a Green Card, you can start counting your five years from whenever you start spending 50% of each calendar year. You will also need to maintain your residence in the US once the citizenship application is submitted and until you become a US citien.

Often in the first couple of years of having a Green Card, you need to travel a lot back and forth to your home country due to ties with work and family obligations. For example, if in the first year of being a Green Card holder you don’t spend enough time in the US but then you do spend the correct of time in the US in the subsequent years, you can apply for a Green Card after six years of being a Green Card holder.

When making a naturalization application, your immigrant history in the US and any criminal background will be put under the spotlight. “Criminal background” doesn’t just mean convictions, it includes any arrests or charges brought against you even if they were subsequently dropped. Immigration history which will be reviewed includes over stay, working or suspicion of working illegally, marriage fraud, and illegally crossing the US border. It’s highly encouraged to consult with a US immigration lawyer if you have had any immigration issues in the past and any criminal background. The US immigration lawyer can advise how this will affect the application. In certain more extreme case, it is worthwhile to not make an application for citizenship. This would be to not rock the boat, potentially jeopardize your Green Card and risk deportation.

At the end of the process, you will undergo testing in English and civics. It is important to study for the testing and USCIS provide materials to study from ( Following you passing the testing stage, you will be invited for an oath ceremony which for many is an emotional milestone. It signals the end of long journey and the start of your new life as a citizen of the United States of America.

Our law office specializes in US immigration and has a dedicated US immigration team to handle your application for naturalization. In order to check eligibility and for us to handle your process, please phone us to make a consultation on 03-3724722.

Related articles

US Citizenship

US citizenship can be acquired by birth or by naturalization. This article, written by Michael Decker, one of the founding partners at , will explore

Read More »

Form N-600K

Form N-600K is used to obtain a United States citizenship for a child of a US citizen who regularly resides outside of the United States.

Read More »

Why work with us?


 We are US and Israeli lawyers that have a deep understanding of both cultures and therefore, can streamline your process with the US immigration authorities.


We handle your case from start to finish – from the initial consultation until your application is approved.


We believe in being transparent and efficient, updating you at every stage.