United States Citizenship is normally acquired at birth when the child is born within the territory of the United States, in accordance with Amendment 14 of the United States Constitution.
Additionally, American citizenship can be obtained through the naturalization of the parents.
Naturalization: It is the process through which an immigrant (legal resident of the United States) applies for United States citizenship. These people can “naturalize” as long as they have met the requirements of the US government.
For more information about the process and requirements, it is recommended to discuss it directly with an immigration lawyer.
PERMANENT LEGAL RESIDENCE
As a Permanent Resident (with a Green Card), you have the right to:
- Live permanently in the United States, as long as you do not commit any action whereby you may be deported or removed as ruled by immigration law.
- Work in the United States in any legal job for which you are qualified or apply. (Please note that for security reasons, some jobs will be available only for US citizens.)
- Be covered by the laws of the United States, the state where you live and local jurisdictions.
YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES AS A PERMANENT RESIDENT
As a Permanent Resident, you:
- Must obey all federal, state, and local laws.
- Must file your federal contributions and report your income to the United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and state tax authorities.
- You are supposed to support the democratic form of government and not change the government by illegal means.
- You must enroll in the Selective Service if you are a male between the ages of 18 and 25.
There are multiple ways to obtain a legal permanent residence (Green Card) in the United States.
- By marriage to an American citizen.
- By marriage to a permanent resident.
- For being a widow of an American citizen. In these cases, the widower’s children who are under the age of 21 and are single can also obtain the green card.
- For being a biological or adopted child or stepson of a US citizen.
- For being the brother/sister-in-law of a citizen when the applicant is at least 21 years old.
- For being a father or mother of a citizen, when the child making the petition has already reached the age of 21.
- For being a single child of a permanent resident.
In the case of marriages, the law applies both to heterosexuals, that is, formed by a man and a woman, and to homosexuals: between two women or between two men.
THROUGH GREEN CARD LOTTERY:
By winning one of the 50,000 immigrant visas drawn each year in the Diversity Lottery (visa lottery).
Petition for yourself without the need for a green card sponsor through an EB-1 visa in the case of professionals with extraordinary ability in Art, Science, Sports, Education or Business. Example: winners of Oscars, Olympics, Pulitzer Prizes or the like.
In these cases, it is necessary for a company or institution in the United States to sponsor the foreign employee before the immigration authorities.
- Through the EB-1 visa for teachers and researchers with extraordinary abilities and managers or executives of multinationals.
- For EB-2 for graduates with at least five years of work experience or with exceptional ability in Art, Business or Science.
- Through the EB-3 for graduates, workers with professional training that requires at least two years of practical studies or work experience, and also for workers without any type of professional training, but who carry out work that is not temporary and for which there are no workers available in the United States.
FOR BEING IN THE SPECIAL IMMIGRANTS CATEGORY
Through this path, US institutions and companies can sponsor through an EB-4 the following categories of workers:
- Priests, nuns, religious ministers who have been serving as such for at least two years.
- Journalists, reporters, writers, translators, producers and similar workers who work for the BBG (Radio Free Asia, Radio Liberty, etc).
- Members of the United States Armed Forces.
- Workers of international organizations.
- Afghan and Iraqi translators.
- Iraqis who have helped the United States in some way.
- Employees of the Panama Canal Zone.
- Retired NATO workers, or if deceased, their widowers and children.
- For special situations
- Cubans, after one year in the United States by wet feet, dry feet policy.
- Asylees and their immediate family.
- Refugees and their immediate family.
- Victims of violence (including domestic violence) that have been granted a U visa, and their families.
- Victims of human trafficking who have been granted a T visa.
THROUGH RESIDENCE IN THE UNITED STATES
For living continuously in the United States since January 1st, 1972 or before and being able to prove it. It is what is called residence by the registry.
FOR BEING SPECIAL YOUTH IMMIGRANTS
Minors who have been placed in the custody of a guardian or a public or private institution by the United States government and are not under the guardianship of either parent.
THROUGH COURT ORDER
In a deportation case, an immigration judge can rule that the alien can stay, adjust their status, and thus obtain a green card.
In cases of residence for special circumstances (juvenile immigrants with this recognized status, registry, wet feet, dry feet for Cubans, T visa, U visa, etc.), it would be possible to qualify to be exempt from paying the fee of this immigration procedure to obtain the residence.
THROUGH INVESTMENT (E-B5)
This status (EB-5) is aimed for investors intending to bring foreign capital into the United States and, and in the process, create jobs for American workers. This investment process is a direct step towards obtaining a Permanent Residence in the US and you may include in this benefit your spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21.
There are three Basic requirements for Obtaining this status in the United States:
- The applicant for this Visa must establish a business or invest in an existing business that was created or restructured after November 19th, 1990.
- The applicant for this Visa must invest $1 million dollars (or $ 500,000 depending on the case) in the business.
- The business established in the United States must generate full-time employment for at least 10 workers, these workers may be US citizens, residents or other immigrants legally authorized to obtain employment in the United States.
Investments in these visas can be made in money, inventory, equipment and tangible assets. The definition expressly excludes illegally acquired capital.
The basic investment value is $1 million dollars. The investment value required for a business “destined for specific areas of employment” is $500,000. Specific areas of employment are rural areas outside of metropolitan areas with an unemployment rate that is at least 150% above the national average.