The history of America is lined with the rich and compelling stories of immigrants rising to prominence through invention and discourse. This year may be your chance to claim your new opportunities.
The process of naturalization and becoming a United States citizen leads to certain rights and responsibilities that just are not available anywhere else. There is an inherent value in becoming a United States citizen and we can help you achieve this important milestone.
What does the process of naturalization look like?
Naturalization begins with assessing eligibility. First off, are you already a citizen? If either of your parents are United States citizens, or you were born on American soil, you can begin by filing form N-600 (Application for Certificate of Citizenship).
If this is not the case, you can begin to determine your own eligibility for naturalization through form N-400, on USCIS.gov. Eligibility to apply for naturalization is determined through several criteria.
The naturalization application can be submitted by mail. The attorney can assist with preparation, assembly and filing of the application. Or, you can create an account at USCIS.gov and download form N-400 locally to your computer. It is advised that you keep a completed copy of this form to study for your naturalization interview and United States civics exam.
If your form N-400 is accepted as “Granted” you may be appointed to a biometrics collection appointment, or you may be asked for more documentation. If you file by mail, you will receive a receipt notice and later a notice to attend your biometrics appointment. You will also be appointed to a naturalization interview and exam. The attorney will prepare you for the interview and attend with you.
What are the requirements for naturalization eligibility?
- Be 18 years old or older at the time of filing Form N-400.
- Be a lawful permanent resident (have a “Green Card”).
- Be able to demonstrate continuous permanent residence in the United States for at least 5 years. (In some cases, this may be 3 years if you are married to a U.S. citizen.)
- Be able to show that you have been physically present in the United States for 30 months. (In some cases, this may be 18 months if you are married to a U.S. citizen.)
- Be able to show that you have lived for at least 3 months in the state or USCIS district where you claim residence.
If you meet these criteria, begin by collecting any applicable documents to provide proof of eligibility, and contact an attorney who can help advise you through this process.
What are the required documents?
- A photocopy of both sides of your resident card.
- A check or money order for the application fee, and the biometrics service fee.
- If you reside outside of the United States, you will need two identical color photographs.
Having a legal advocate can ensure desired results. Immigration attorneys can help you provide the most accurate required documentation, provide fees, apply for exemptions for fees and exams, and help prepare you for your United States civics and writing/reading exams.
The naturalization process can be very involved, and usually takes anywhere from 6 months to a year with all the valid documentation and fees in place. Contact our office to schedule a consultation and take your next steps towards your future. Your livelihood and the opportunities of your family may be forever reshaped by one simple decision.