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United States Naturalization: Guide Your Employees on the Route to Citizenship

Updated on May 3, 2015
Workers on a farm in Georgia
Workers on a farm in Georgia | Source

Your employees are like extended family in many ways and employing workers who have a green card but don't have US citizenship can be concerning to any employer.

You may have spent long hours worrying about how to help your employees overcome barriers to become US citizens and participate in American society and culture in a full and meaningful manner. If this is the case, read on:

You can search online for the most informative ways in which your workers can obtain citizenship and research up-to-the-minute news and advice on naturalization issues. Your concerns about employees who have spent a long time living in the United States, yet have not been advised of ways in which they could qualify for naturalization are justified as your employees will be constantly concerned about whether or not they could be deported or have the rights to work taken off them.

You might find accessing information from The Bethlehem Project is useful for you and your employees.


Hotel worker picket line
Hotel worker picket line | Source

Your employees could be entitled to become naturalized US citizens for a number of reasons. If they are aged over 18 years and have permanent resident status, not having left the United States for overseas trips of more than six months, they can be guided in the requirements for US citizenship and assisted to complete Form N-400.

You can find a lot of advice about this online. Naturalization is a legal process that does take time, helping your employees to put the wheels in motion puts them on the first step along the way. You could also assist your employees by ensuring their spoken English and knowledge of some basic history details about the United States is adequate. As they will be tested when they arrive for their naturalization interview.

As you get to know your workers better you learn more about their home and personal circumstances. If you have an employee who is married to an American citizen you could be concerned that they are not progressing any application for naturalization in their own right.

You may have employees who have served in the armed forces or maybe they are married to somebody who served in the armed forces, these can be very compelling reasons for naturalization. You can research a number of reasons to naturalize people from overseas on the government website and you can find all the criteria they need to meet for naturalization qualification on this site too. You may need to help your employee establish the correct credentials for naturalization, as these need to be met in full. Your employee needs to demonstrate good moral character and show evidence of any previous criminal record. Some previous criminal convictions may not be a bar to achieving naturalization.

November 2014, President Obama announces plan to help migrants achieve temporary papers
November 2014, President Obama announces plan to help migrants achieve temporary papers | Source

In November 2014 President Barack Obama announced a number of ways in which undocumented, illegal workers can "come out of the shadows" and obtain temporary rights to stay and work in the United States.

It may be the case your workers would qualify for rights to work under this plan and the full details of President Obama's speech are discussed in this article from the Daily Mail.

Becoming a naturalized American citizen takes time and effort, but it is possible if your employees meet the criteria set out in US law. You need to research the best possible advice so you are confident that you can assist and guide your employees in all potential ways they can achieve American citizenship.

For further information check out this United States government file from the Immigration Service:

Who is Eligible for Naturalization : USCIS.gov

© 2015 Dawn Denmar

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