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Achieve your dream of citizenship

The Law Office of Raymond O. Griffith was started to help others achieve their dream of lawfully becoming a U.S. citizen. After years of providing expert guidance, representation, and immigration services, our team is ready to help you successfully navigate the process to apply for your citizenship.

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In order to achieve your United States citizenship, you must:

Hold a green card for at least five years, or three years for a spouse

Be 18 years old and able to speak, read, and write basic English

Submit form N-400 to begin your application

Take the naturalization test and undergo a personal interview

Citizenship Services in Baltimore

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Many immigrants aim to become a citizen of the United States, as being a U.S. citizen allows you to enjoy tremendous rights, benefits, and privileges. Thousands of immigrants become U.S. citizens every year via the naturalization process.

There are many ways to become naturalized in the United States and our expert immigration attorney can help. With more than 20 years of experience and expertise, you're sure to get the best possible outcome with the law office of Raymond O. Griffith in Baltimore, MD. Call us today for a free consultation.

Becoming a U.S. Citizen Through Birth

Citizenship by birth is one of the most common ways to become a citizen of the United States. Any person birthed in the United States automatically becomes a U.S. citizen. This law also applies to persons born in Guam, Puerto Rico, Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. 

Members of sovereign Native American tribes and children birthed by parents who are foreign diplomats are exempted from this law.

 

Becoming a U.S. Citizen Through Acquisition

Children can automatically become citizens of the United States, even if they were born outside of the country. However, at least one of the following factors needs to be met for a child to "acquire" citizenship.

Acquisition Through a Parent

This factor requires that one parent is a U.S. citizen at the time of birth and the child was born on or after November 14, 1986. Additionally, the parent who is a U.S. citizen must have been physically present in the United States or its territories, stayed a minimum of five years before the birth of the child, and two out of these five years must be before or after the parent's 14th birthday.

Acquisition Through Both Parents

A child can become a U.S. citizen if both parents were citizens, one or both parents lived in the United States or its territories before the child's birth, and both parents were married when the child was born.

One Parent Was a U.S. Citizen

This condition is for children that were born between 1952 and 1986, specifically before November 14, 1986, but after October 10, 1952. One or both parents must have been physically present in the United States or its territories for at least ten years, five of which must be before or after their 14th birthday. Also, both parents must have been married at the time that the child was born.

Becoming a Citizen Through Derivation

This citizenship path applies to children of parents who obtained citizenship through naturalization. Children under the age of 18 who are living with their parents at the time of naturalization can automatically "derive" citizenship, provided they are permanent residents.

In cases like this, the child doesn't have to go through the naturalization process. Foreign-born children under the age of 18 will automatically derive U.S. citizenship if the three requirements below are satisfied:

  • At least one parent is a U.S. citizen
  • The child is a green card holder, that is, a permanent resident in the United States
  • The child must be in the physical and legal custody of their U.S. parent and must be living in the United States

Citizenship through derivation cannot be implemented with step-parents. Additionally, the laws regarding the automatic naturalization of children have changed over the years. To determine if a certain law applies to you or your child, you must look at whether or not the law existed when the parent was naturalized as a U.S. citizen.

Citizenship laws have evolved over time. You may need to research the appropriate law that allows your eligibility. Becoming a citizen of the U.S. can be a complicated and difficult process to navigate. That is why you need an experienced immigration lawyer to guide you.

The law office of Raymond O. Griffith is the top immigration law firm in Baltimore, MD. Contact us today and we'll provide you with the necessary assistance, advice, and processes you need to follow on your path to becoming a U.S. citizen.

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