The immigration officer looked suspiciously at our client — a young man of Mexican descent — and exclaimed: “There are only two ways to be a U.S. citizen. Either you were born here or you naturalized!” The officer couldn’t have been more wrong. Our client was a U.S. citizen at the time of his birth in Mexico, by way of derivation. His great grandfather had been born in the U.S. in the 1890’s. Under the laws of derivation, his U.S. citizenship was passed down to our client’s grandmother and later to his mother. And our client was a U.S. citizen as well. That’s how we saved him from being deported.
Derivative Citizenship: Not everyone is as fortunate as our client described above, that is, to be born a U.S. citizen by way of derivation. Citizenship by way of derivation is one of the most complicated areas of citizenship law. At Rose Immigration Law Firm, we’ve developed a niche in this area. In fact, we get great satisfaction from finding out someone is a U.S. citizen and doesn’t need our services.
Naturalization: Indeed, U.S. citizenship comes in many forms. The standard, of course, is birth in the U.S. That’s citizenship guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. Then the next most common way of obtaining citizenship is through naturalization. But the “path to U.S. citizenship” is a rocky one (for a real-world example: go to the “News” page of our website and click on the article “Linda Rose Citizenship Op-Editorial”). To become a citizen by naturalization, the foreign national must first be a Lawful Permanent Resident for five years (only three if married to a U.S. citizen). But that’s not all. He must also prove a majority period of physical presence in the U.S. But that’s not all. He must prove good moral character. But that’s not all. He must prove knowledge of the English language. But that’s still not all. He must prove knowledge of U.S. government and U.S. history, too. And then there are exceptions and variations to these rules depending on whether the foreign national is a military spouse, a religious worker, or of senior-age. As you can see, naturalization is a complicated process.
But whether a citizen by derivation or eligible to naturalize, we look forward to assisting our clients in this final stage of the immigration process