American citizenship is the dream of many people around the world, including many in India. The lucky ones working with US tax preparers in India don’t have to do absolutely anything to get them – they just need to be born in the United States and they will receive them automatically… What are those who failed to be born in the USA to do? They must meet a long list of conditions and make painstaking efforts. The process of applying for American citizenship is associated with many formalities, which usually begin before obtaining a green card.
It is worth the effort, however, as the data is promising. Indians are among the top Asians receiving US citizenship. It is estimated that more than half of our compatriots living in the United States already have an American passport. Are you wondering if you also have a chance to receive the desired document? Find out who can apply for naturalization. Who knows, maybe American citizenship is at your fingertips?
Who is eligible to apply for US citizenship?
Those who were born in the United States’ territory and those who were born outside the United States but had at least one citizen parent are, of course, the easiest. Unfortunately, no one has even a smidgeon of a say in this. Is there another option? Yes! It’s not the end of the world if you weren’t permitted to be born in the United States or if you don’t have a citizen parent. To begin the naturalisation process, just a few requirements must be met.
Residence and physical presence in the United States over an extended period of time
At this point, it should be mentioned that even the green cardholder has to follow certain rules in order not to lose the card. The right to permanent residence does not mean that we can live wherever our heart desires, and the US borders will always be open to us. On the contrary! By applying for a green card, we express our will to stay in the USA permanently, and by collecting it, we are already obliged to do so. As the name suggests, a permanent resident lives in the States, not only there. Leaving America for too long will be tantamount to abandoning America, so we will be denied permanent residence. When applying for citizenship, we must show that we acted in accordance with the will expressed earlier and did not violate the conditions for maintaining the green card, which stated that:
- we must stay physically in the United States for at least half of the validity period of the 5-year green card, i.e. at least 30 months,
- we cannot leave the USA at one time for more than 6 months. This is important for US citizens living in India.
In special situations, you can maintain the continuity of your stay abroad for up to a year, but this is only possible if we show honesty and loyalty to the United States. If we have been in the USA for at least a year without a break since obtaining residency, and we support our application with strong arguments, there is a good chance that we will be granted permission. We will then be justified, loyal and honest – after all, no one would want to be abandoned without a word of explanation!