Citizenship Issues

Gaining citizenship in the U.S.

While individuals born in the U.S. are automatically granted citizenship, there are other paths to citizenship as well.  For example, an immigrant could serve in the U.S. military or permanent resident could choose to go through the process of naturalization. Regardless of the path, here are four issues that individuals seeking citizenship may face.


1. You don’t meet the time requirements.

Becoming a U.S. citizen takes time, at least 3 years. If you who wish to become a citizen you must first become a permanent resident. You also have to maintain your residence within the U.S. for the time required for your specific application, anywhere between 3 – 5 years.  This means that you cannot leave to reside in another country and return later, even if you’ve maintained your Green Card during that time. You’re also required to have resided within the USCIS district you plan to apply at for a minimum of three months prior to your application.  It is important that you speak with an immigration attorney to ensure that you meet the time required to begin the naturalization process, doing so will prevent a lot of wasted effort and give you a greater chance of success.

2. You failed to file with the U.S. Selective Service

If you’re male and entered the U.S. before the age of 26 you are required to register with the U.S. Selective Service.  The Selective Service program is a federal program that is used during a time of war in order to execute a draft, or conscription into the U.S. armed forces. If you’ve not applied for Selective Service then you are required to provide a Status Information Letter from the Selective Service that explains why you failed to register. The immigration attorneys at GillespieShields know and understand immigration law and can help you complete your Selective Service registration or secure your Status Information Letter.

3. You fail to file the appropriate documents, or you completed them incorrectly

The documents required to apply for U.S. citizenship are complex and can be confusing. It is important that you’re familiar with the requirements of each document and how to complete them correctly for your exact situation. Requirements change depending on your age, employment situation, family, and legal history. By working with the immigration law team at GillespieShields you can begin your application process with confidence.

4. You’re not ready for the citizenship tests.

Did you know that there are two tests that you are required to pass in order to become a citizen? The first one is a test of basic English terms that are used to describe the United States of America. The second test that you are required to take is a civics test. The civics test requires an elementary knowledge of the U.S. and the U.S. government. Certain individuals are excused from having to complete the English test and other individuals are allowed to take a shorter version of the civics test. You can speak with an immigration lawyer at GillespieShields to find out if you qualify.


Request a Consultation

Our intake specialist will contact you

Contact Us


7319 North 16th Street, Phoenix, AZ 85020 | 602-870-9700


1630 S. Stapley Drive, Suite 212, Mesa, AZ 85204 | 480-985-4000


Pin It on Pinterest