If you want to become a U.S. citizen, it’s in your best interests to work with a citizenship and naturalization lawyer to help you navigate the process. Even if you’ve already obtained a visa and green card, the process to citizenship through naturalization can be complex. You have to submit an application, undergo an exam and interview, and eventually be sworn in as a U.S. citizen. To speak with an immigration attorney who can guide you through the immigration system, contact Solano Law Firm, LLC today.
What Are the Benefits of Becoming a U.S. Citizen?
Although you may want to become a U.S. citizen for a multitude of reasons, there are also many benefits of going through naturalization and becoming a citizen. Some of the benefits you will enjoy include the following:
- Taking part in the U.S. political process
- Being able to vote
- Being able to serve on a jury
- Becoming an elected official
- Seeking employment opportunities not available to noncitizens, such as federal jobs
- Maintaining a U.S. passport
- Qualifying for certain public benefits
- Obtaining financial aid for educational opportunities
- Bringing family members to the United States
- Showing patriotism
In return for these benefits, you will have a new set of responsibilities as a U.S. citizen. You will give up prior allegiance to other nations and subsequently swear allegiance to the United States. You must also support and defend the U.S. Constitution and laws of the United States. You may also be called to serve the country when required.
If you want to become a U.S. citizen, you should work with a citizenship and naturalization lawyer. Solano Law Firm, LLC can help you understand both the benefits and responsibilities of becoming a citizen and undergoing the process of naturalization.
Requirements to Be Considered for Naturalization and Citizenship
Before you begin the process of naturalization, you should become familiar with the requirements for a person to become a U.S. citizen. These requirements can be confusing. It’s therefore best to work with a citizenship and naturalization lawyer who can review your specific characteristics and make sure you qualify.
Requirements to become a U.S. citizen include the following. You must:
- Be at least 18 years of age. (Children under the age of 18 can become U.S. citizens through adoption.)
- Have lived in the United States for a minimum of five years. (With some exceptions.)
- Have been physically present in the United States for at least 30 months prior to filing your application.
- Have lived in the state where you file your application for at least three months.
- Prove that you understand the function of the U.S. government.
- Demonstrate knowledge of U.S. history.
- Be able to speak, write, and read in English.
- Prove that you are of good moral character.
- Have positive feelings and affections for America.
A citizenship and naturalization lawyer can help you determine if you qualify to become a U.S. citizen. An attorney can review your characteristics and help you understand the requirements. When working with an immigration lawyer, you have someone on your side to guide you through the process.
Things That Could Delay Your Citizenship Application
If you feel you meet all of the requirements to become a U.S. citizen, then you should speak with a citizenship and naturalization lawyer. An attorney can also review your qualifications and history and help you determine if there are any red flags that might delay your citizenship application or result in a denial.
Your application may be delayed or denied if you:
- Have a criminal history
- Have unpaid taxes
- Are past due on child support or alimony
- Have unsatisfied judgments
- Have traveled outside of the United States for extended periods of time
Although these situations could present a problem, a citizenship and naturalization lawyer can help you overcome many challenges. You may need to explain your situation in an interview or satisfy deficiencies prior to your application. An attorney can review your circumstances and help you prepare for naturalization.
How to Apply for U.S. Citizenship
The process of becoming a U.S. citizen can be complex. While working with a citizenship and naturalization lawyer, you should take the following steps to become a citizen:
- Determine your eligibility. Review the requirements for U.S. citizenship and make sure that you meet each one. If you do not qualify, you may need to take additional steps or wait longer while you establish yourself in the United States.
- Overcome barriers. If there are any challenges to your becoming a U.S. citizen, then you may need to take care of those before applying.
- File necessary paperwork with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This would include an N-400 application for naturalization and other forms. You must also include a fee, which can be several hundred dollars, and a copy of your green card.
- Complete biometrics background check. You will be given instructions on how to get fingerprinted and submit to a background check. This is an essential part of applying for citizenship.
- Attend an interview with the USCIS. You will be given an appointment to meet with an officer from the USCIS who will conduct an interview. Your naturalization interview will involve many questions about your intent in the United States as a citizen.
- Attend an oath ceremony, if approved. If your application is approved, you will be granted U.S. citizenship and then invited to attend an oath ceremony to declare your loyalty to the United States.
- Appeal the decision, if denied. If your application is denied, you may be able to appeal. You should work closely with a citizenship and naturalization lawyer to determine if an appeal is in your best interests.
Contact a Citizenship and Naturalization Lawyer for Help Today
The process of becoming a U.S. citizen can be complex. It requires many steps that involve knowledge of U.S. laws to determine if you qualify for citizenship. However, naturalization can be worth it when you take on the benefits and responsibilities as a citizen of the United States. If you wish to seek citizenship, contact a citizenship and naturalization lawyer at Solano Law Firm, LLC today.