FAQ

Q1: What is Good Moral Character and how do I prove it?

 

Good Moral Character (GMC) is a condition of becoming a citizen.  Proof of GMC is payment of taxes, child support and obeying the law.  It is within the government’s discretion to grant citizenship. There have been instances where an application has been denied because the permanent resident had an extramarital affair that destroyed an existing marriage or where the applicant owed back taxes and had not entered into a payment plan with the IRS. 

Certain criminal convictions may bar even a long term permanent resident from becoming a citizen, and may even trigger deportation. If you have ever had any arrests, investigations, criminal convictions, appeared in court or any other police contact, you need to discuss these matters with an experienced immigration attorney before filing any application for naturalization.

Q2: Do I need to hire an Attorney or can I use a Notario or Paralegal?

 

Non-attorneys who give legal advice are breaking the law and are guilty of the "unauthorized practice of law" (UPL) which has severe consequences for the "client".  The non-attorney gives incorrect advice and the client finds himself in removal proceedings instead of getting a green card or a work card. For this reason, it’s essential that you contact a professional licensed attorney experienced in immigration law.  With many years of legal experience, the Burchinow Immigration Law is a trusted resource licensed to practice law in the State of Colorado and a member of the American Association of Immigration Attorneys (AILA).  

 

 

Q3:  I received my green card through marriage; when can I apply for naturalization?

 

 A lawful permanent resident who obtained his green card through marriage to a US Citizen may apply for naturalization after three years. The application package may be filed up to 90 days before the applicant's 3rd year anniversary of becoming a resident. The applicant must show that:

  1. He has resided in the United States for more than 50 % of the 3 year period, and

  2. He has been a resident of the state for at least 90 days prior to filing the application; and

  3. He has not abandoned his resident status; and

  4. He continues to live in “marital union” with his US citizen spouse; and

  5. He is still married at the time of his naturalization ceremony, and

  6. He is of “good moral character” deserving of citizenship.

 

Q4:  I did not receive my green card through marriage; when can I become a citizen?

A lawful permanent resident who obtained his green card through other means such as employment, diversity visa lottery, asylum etc. may apply for naturalization and become a citizen after five years. The application package may be filed up to 90 days before the 5th year anniversary of becoming a resident. The applicant must show that:

  1. He has resided in the United States for more than 50% of the the 5 year period, and

  2. He has been a resident of the state for at least 90 days prior to filing the application; and

  3. he has not abandoned his resident status; and

  4. He is of “good moral character” deserving of citizenship.