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When Can Refugees Apply for Citizenship?

young woman wearing a hijab holding a younger girl in her lap, both smiling

Citizenship Paths for Refugees

As of September 2021, a reported 95,000 Afghan refugees are expected to resettle in the United States. Although thousands are still waiting to be processed, this adds another layer to the heavy immigration debates that have been building for years.

A main focus of this argument concerns the rights that these individuals are entitled to as they arrive and how, if at all, they may eventually obtain citizenship. Read on to learn more about the citizenship process for refugees.

What Does the Process Look Like?

According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), refugees are required by law to apply for a Green Card within one year of admittance into the country. As such, these individuals may assume the distinction of a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) so long as they meet certain requirements.

If you are interested in learning more about whether you meet these requirements or your application has been denied, call (800) 708-4399 to discuss this with a member of our team.

A refugee who has been a Lawful Permanent Resident for five years may then be eligible to apply for naturalization. To do so, they must meet requirements, which may include but are not limited to:

  • Physically present for a period of time and continuous residence in the United States.
  • Good moral character.
  • The ability to speak, read, write, and understand basic English.
  • An understanding of U.S. history and government, including the U.S. Constitution.

This process can be complicated to handle on your own. Working with an experienced immigration attorney can help walk you through the basic steps and ensure all necessary paperwork is in order.

How Maney | Gordon | Zeller, P.A. Can Help

Becoming a naturalized citizen in the United States is an achievable goal for many refugees. If you are concerned about your eligibility or are looking for guidance throughout this process, our Maney | Gordon | Zeller, P.A. team can help.

Our attorneys not only represent you throughout the process, but we also provide free citizenship classes that may make achieving your dream easier. To get started today, schedule a consultation with a member of our team by calling (800) 708-4399 or filling out this short form.


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