Civil Rights & Immigration
Immigration and Citizenship Overview
Members and veterans of the U.S. armed forces, and their dependents, may be eligible for citizenship under special legal provisions. Special procedures apply in all of the following situations.
Immigration Matters: Finding Legal Help
When you need help with an immigration matter, you do not have the absolute right to a lawyer at government expense. If you can afford a private attorney, many are available to assist you. If you cannot afford a private attorney, there are many nonprofit agencies with experienced immigration attorneys who may be able to help you for free or for low fees.
Civil Rights - Overview
Your basic rights as a U.S. citizen include, among others:
- anti-discrimination protections for persons with disabilities
- the right to return to your job after serving in the military
- the right to vote
Use the left-hand links to read more details about these basic rights.
Last updated May 2018
Legal Needs Check-up Tool - Interactive Interview
Try our checklist to find legal information and where to get help with your legal issue.
Don't Be a Victim of Immigration Fraud
Notarios, notary publics and immigration consultants may NOT represent you before U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service [USCIS]. While in many other countries the word “Notario” means that the individual is an attorney, this is not true in the United States. Notarios may not provide the same services that an attorney or accredited representative does.
Citizenship for Children Born to Servicemembers Overseas
Certain children born outside the U.S. to U.S. citizens are citizens from the moment they are born. The law on this has changed many times since the early 1900’s. The law in effect on the date of the child’s birth is the law that controls.
Citizenship for Spouses of Service Members
Can I become a U.S. citizen if I am married to someone serving in the military who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident? As the spouse of a U.S. service member, you may be able to apply for “naturalization” in one of several ways.
The American Veterans and Servicemembers Survival Guide
This detailed 600 page Veterans and Servicemembers Survival Guide was originally developed by Veterans for America and is now made available free of charge by the National Veterans Legal Services Program on their website. It was published in 2009 so more recent changes will not be included.