Immigration is a much-debated topic in the political scene these days, but honestly many immigrants are in our nation legally, and are simply here to have a better life for them and their loved ones. Many of these immigrants in Kentucky and across the nation will one day want to pursue U.S. citizenship. Recent data suggests that, despite crackdowns on illegal immigration, those who are currently permanent residents of the U.S. are obtaining citizenship at a greater rate than they had in the past.
According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, in the first three quarters of fiscal year 2018, over 544,000 individuals gained U.S. citizenship. This is a 15 percent uptick from the same period in 2017. It is also a notable finding, due to the tightening of immigration laws and policies in recent years.
To apply for U.S. citizenship, a person must be a permanent resident of the U.S. for at least five years (three years if they have married a U.S. citizen). In 2015, of the 13.2 permanent residents in the U.S., nine million were eligible to apply to become U.S. citizens. However, to become a U.S. citizen, there is a $725 application fee to be paid and the person must undergo a citizenship exam.
There are numerous steps in the citizenship process; it is not automatic. Sometimes these steps may seem so daunting that a person will not seek citizenship, even if they are eligible to do so. Fortunately, it is possible to seek legal help with the process. Immigration attorneys understand what steps a person must take to become a U.S. citizen and may be a useful resource.