Residency & Citizenship

Maintaining Permanent Residency

Despite its name, Permanent Residency is not always permanent. Immigrant status can be lost voluntarily or involuntarily through administrative actions.

Reentry Permits

Permanent residents are expected to reside in the U.S. Frequent or lengthy absences from the U.S. resulting in excessive time spent abroad can result in a finding that one has abandoned his/her Green Card. A common myth is that so long as one returns to the U.S. every 6 months, Permanent Resident Status is preserved. The law, however, grants CBP officers and Immigration Courts significant discretion in making such a finding.

We regularly represent a mobile, global clientele. One way to prevent a finding of abandonment is through the filing of a reentry permit, which may allow absences for up to two years. Please contact our office today if you hold a Green Card and plan to spend a significant time abroad.

Obtaining U.S. Citizenship By Birth

Practically everyone born within the U.S. borders acquires citizenship by birth. However, citizenship status for those individuals born abroad to a U.S. citizen parent is not always so clear or straightforward. The professionals at Green and Spiegel U.S. have extensive experience obtaining Consular Reports of Birth Abroad and U.S. passports. Consult us today if you have any questions regarding whether you or a relative is a U.S. citizen by parentage.

Obtaining U.S. Citizenship By Naturalization

An optional end to the immigration process may be naturalization as a U.S. citizen. After five years of continuous permanent residency (shortened to three if married to and living with a U.S. citizen), a lawful permanent resident may become a U.S. citizen through the naturalization process. In order to naturalize, you must generally also:

  • Have lived within the state, or USCIS district with jurisdiction over the applicant’s place of residence, for at least 3 months prior to the date of filing the application.
  • In addition to the continuous residency, you must be physically present in the United States for at least half of the qualifying period for naturalization. Certain exceptions apply to the military and employees of U.S. firms stationed abroad.
  • Be able to read, write, and speak English at a sufficient level and have sufficient knowledge of U.S. history and government, evidenced by passing in-person testing during a USCIS interview
  • Be of good moral character
  • Take an oath to the principles of the Constitution of the United States.

Certain exceptions and accommodations may apply. Our team of professionals have extensive experience in applying naturalization applications and accompanying applicants to interviews, especially in cases where qualifications are unclear. Contact us today to determine your eligibility.

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