Naturalization and Citizenship


For some individuals, becoming a citizen of the United States is the ultimate dream and goal.

  • Naturalization: Lawful permanent residents (e.g. green card holders) are eligible to apply for naturalization to become a citizen of the United States if they have had their green card for at least five years, or at least three years if they are applying based on their marriage to a U.S. citizen spouse. Applicants must meet the general eligibility requirements for citizenship, including: (1) being 18-years old; (2) being able to read / write / speak English; having a basic understanding of U.S. history and government (civics); being a person of good moral character; and having been physically present and continuously resided in the United States for a certain amount of time. An exemption may be available for those unable to read / write / speak English, or unable to learn U.S. civics for medical reasons.
  • Derivative Citizenship: Certain individuals may already be U.S. citizens if they became lawful permanent residents (e.g. green card holders) as a child and their parent(s) whom they resided with and had legal and physical custody of them naturalized before their 18th birthday.
  • Acquired Citizenship: Certain individuals may already be U.S. citizens if they were born outside the United States to one or more U.S. citizen parents who were citizens at the time of their birth.

Attorney Mendoza finds personal fulfillment in preparing and filing naturalization applications due in part to her personal experience with it. After sponsoring her noncitizen husband for a marriage-based green card, she obtained his U.S. citizenship in 2019. Being on the client-side of the system allowed her to gain a unique perspective into and appreciation for what her clients go through when pursuing their U.S. immigration goals. Moreover, she finds great satisfaction in vicariously experiencing her clients’ joy when they achieve this ultimate immigration goal.

Contact us to discuss your eligibility for citizenship or to determine whether you are already a citizen of the United States.