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Contact Us: (617) 714-4375

February 2017

Apply for US Citizenship!

Now is the time to apply for US citizenship if you are eligible. Consult with me or another immigration attorney about your eligibility and check out for information about the citizenship/naturalization test.

The basic requirements for citizenship are:

  1. Five or three years of “green card”/LPR/lawful permanent resident status. You need five years of “green card” status unless for the past three years you have been married to and living with your US citizen spouse. To qualify for the three year citizenship, you do not need to have obtained your green card through your spouse, but you do need three years of marriage and joint residence.
  2. 50% of your time in the US in past five or three years.
  3. Residence in the US for the past five or three years.
  4. No trips outside US for more than six months  unless you obtained permission to maintain your eligibility for citizenship or you can otherwise prove that you did not abandon your residence in the US.
  5. No outstanding US federal, state or local taxes due.
  6. No alimony or child support due.
  7. No bad acts in the past five or three years including alcohol/drug abuse (or use in the case of federally illegal drugs), no convictions for or even commission of certain crimes, no fraud or misrepresentation to any government official for any purpose, no unlawful voting.
  8. No open court cases, even for violations or crimes that would not make you ineligible for US citizenship

There are certain acts (generally criminal convictions and commissions) that make people permanent ineligible for citizenship. There are certain issues that make a person deportable/removable, but the person could still be eligible for citizenship. Because of the confusing nature of the law, make sure to talk with an immigration attorney before you file Form N-400. You do not need to hire the lawyer to represent you after the consultation, but you should understand your eligibility and any issues relating to your case before you file.


Immigration under Donald Trump

Donald Trump and his administration issued memoranda relating to the administration’s deportation/removal priorities. These memos do not change the definition of deportable, that is, reasons why someone could be deported from the US. However, the memos signal a drastic change from President Obama’s humane focus on immigrants with certain criminal backgrounds, to anyone who has ever made any criminal mistake (whether charged and whether convicted) and who has ever made any misrepresentation to a government agent. The memos leave no room for a compassion and reasonable immigration officer to determine that an individual may not have authorized status in the US, but nonetheless deserves to be considered for non-prosecution for deportation. In addition to making unrealistically broad priorities for deportation, the memos set forth the administration’s intention to authorize state and local law enforcement to enforce federal immigration law. Again, these memos do not change the law but they drastically change prosecutorial discretion and execution of the federal immigration laws.

Memos at


First they came and I did not speak out

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

Quote attributed to MARTIN NIEMÖLLER

© Copyright 2014 Law Office of Ellen Sullivan, P.C. This website does not constitute a representation agreement with Attorney Sullivan or anyone else at the firm. The information on this website is not intended to, nor does it in fact, replace legal advice provided by an attorney in an attorney-client consultation. Please contact our office or another immigration attorney if you would like legal counsel. Sitemap