1.) How can I become a U.S. Citizen?
In order to become a U.S. citizen you must meet the following requirements:
A. you must have been admitted to lawful permanent residence for five years (three years if Green Card obtained through marriage to U.S. citizen);
B. you must be 18 years old;
C. you must be maintain continuous residence for five years (three years if Green Card obtained through marriage to U.S. citizen);
D. you must be physically present in the U.S. for at least half of the 5 years (or half of the 3 years if you obtained a Green Card through a U.S. citizen spouse);
E. you must be a person of good moral character for the 5 years (or 3 years if the alien obtained a Green Card through a U.S. citizen spouse);
F. you must demonstrate an elementary level of English (reading, writing, understanding); and,
G. You must have knowledge and understanding of the fundamentals of history and government of the U.S.
2.) I am illegal in the U.S. but entered the U.S. legally. I have just married a U.S. citizen. How do I apply for my Green Card?
The U.S. citizen spouse must file an I-130 Relative Petition for you, as well as the I-485 application for permanent residence. You must also provide supporting documents. If the applicant wishes to travel outside of the U.S or work in the U.S. pending the INS interview, you can apply for advance parole, and an employment authorization card.
You will be scheduled for an interview 6 months to a year from the time you filed the application. The interview will consist of questions the couple will have to answer, to prove the marriage is legitimate and not for the sole purpose of obtaining a Green Card. Documents must be submitted to prove that the couple has a bona fide marriage, such as joint credit cards, joint bank accounts, proof of children born to the couple, joint health insurance, etc.
3.) How can I bring my family or relatives to the U.S. Permanently?
If you are a U.S. citizen, you may sponsor the following relatives to the United States:
A. your spouse (husband or wife), and
B. your sons and daughters (regardless of their age and whether or not they are married) and
C. your parents, brothers and sisters (if you are age 21 or older).
If you are a Green Card holder you may petition for:
A. your spouse (husband or wife) and
B. your unmarried sons and daughters.
4.) Can I live in the U.S. if I buy or start a small business?
Yes, you can qualify as an E-2 treaty investor. This is a non-immigrant visa that permits a non-citizen investor to start up a new business or to purchase an existing business. The benefits of E-2 status are that the visa category has no maximum periods of stay, the status is renewable indefinitely, and the alien is permitted to work in the U.S.
To qualify you must be a national of one the countries with which the U.S. has a Treaty of Commerce & Navigation. You must make a minimum investment generally within the $50,000 to $300,000 range. The investment must be an active commercial enterprise and you must take an active role in managing and directing the business.
5.) I meet the citizenship requirements. What is the process?
You must submit an Application for Naturalization (INS Form N-400) with a $260 application fee, photos and a fingerprint card. You may submit your application 3 months before you meet the residency requirement.
The INS sends the fingerprint card to the FBI which conducts a background check to determine whether you have committed a crime which might disqualify you from citizenship. You will be then be interviewed by an INS officer. If you are approved for citizenship by the INS, you would then take the Oath of Allegiance to the United States of America.