A lot of people wish to gain United States citizenship, particularly due to the rights and responsibilities that come with it. On top of actual permanent residency, a US citizen enjoys the right to vote in elections and travel to and reside abroad with lesser restrictions. A United States citizen can also help an alien family member immigrate and get a green card within a shorter period of time, particularly in contrast to a green card holder petitioning the same through a permanent resident card).
For these reasons, even though immigration laws can be quite complex and while it can be very difficult to qualify for citizenship, an immigrant will do his or her to become a citizen of the United States.
In this article are tips that a foreign national applying for citizenship should take note of. These include:
1) Research and read up on US citizenship
2) Check citizenship requirements early on
3) Prepare for the other steps in your naturalization application
4) seek legal help from a good local attorney
1) Reading comprehensive articles on your planned application for citizenship
It helps to research and familiarize yourself with the immigration process necessary to become a citizen of the United States. Note that there are several steps one must take before becoming a citizen. A foreigner who meets the minimum length of lawful permanent residence may gain citizenship by submitting necessary forms to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS Office). Blog posts such as this can help you be familiar with the immigration forms and paperwork that you need to submit.
2) Early on, check if you are indeed eligible to apply for citizenship
As stated in relevant US immigration law, on top of at least five years of lawful permanent resident status, aspiring United States citizens must be at least 18 years old, must show good moral character, and must be able to take an Oath of Allegiance and state belief in the principles of the US Constitution. Keep in mind that citizenship applications in certain USCIS field offices take a lot longer than average processing times. If you live in a place where the processing time is known to be longer, begin your naturalization application as early as possible. Checking requirements early on will give you sufficient time to gather supporting documents and fill out relevant USCIS forms.
3) Use wait times to prepare for succeeding steps in the naturalization process
If you wish to obtain citizenship papers through an application for naturalization, think ahead and consider the period of time that will pass filing to the actual swearing-in ceremony. Processing wait times alone for an application for citizenship status can take eight months. While your Form N-400 is being processed, start preparing for your biometrics appointment, your citizenship interview, and the (often stressful) US citizens test. Make sure that you come prepared for your immigration interview and citizenship test. These two are generally scheduled in one day, both they can make or break the entire citizenship process.
4) Seek legal assistance from Shenandoah immigration attorneys
If you want to become a citizen of the United States through an application for Naturalization, contact a reliable law firm and seek legal help from a Shenandoah immigration attorney who can help with your case. Like any other petition for a change in immigration status, becoming a citizen of the United States is not easy. However, your dream of getting a Certificate of Naturalization and taking the Oath of Allegiance is not impossible. In most cases, you will be able to naturalize and acquire citizenship after a year and a half.
Keep in mind that the US Citizenship and Immigration Services receives numerous applications from immigrants obtaining citizenship. As such, they must not be taken lightly by an alien aspiring to become a citizen in the United States. Some mistakes can lead to removal proceedings, actual deportation to your home country, and being permanently not allowed to reside in the US.
Qualifying for citizenship is not easy, but it is possible. For questions related to visas and your immigrant visa application, consular processing and adjustment of status, conditional green cards, and legal permanent resident status, or removal of conditions, contact our Shenandoah immigration attorney at Luis F. Hess, PLLC.