Once you have determined that you have met the US Citizenship requirements, and that nothing in your background would prevent immigration officials from determining that you have the good moral character required for getting citizenship, the next question is how to apply for citizenship. A qualified naturalization lawyer can help reduce error and delay when applying for American citizenship, including helping to accurately complete the citizenship forms and guiding you through the naturalization process. Processing times for the citizenship application may vary based on the applicant’s residence.
Citizenship Application Package
Your initial naturalization application package will consist of form N-400 (Application for Naturalization), photos, required evidence and documentation, and the citizenship fee. Depending on your marital status when you apply, citizenship officials may require additional evidence to prove that you have a bona fide marriage. Prior to submitting the N400 form, your naturalization lawyer will review your criminal background, immigration history, financial history, and other pertinent personal details and identify issues that either require you to submit additional documentation along with your citizenship application or require you to prepare to be questioned during your citizenship interview.
Fingerprints & Biometrics
Once the N400 application package is received by USCIS officials at the appropriate citizenship application filing location, you will be scheduled for a fingerprint and biometric exam at a local facility. Information gathered at this appointment will be used to conduct a thorough background check, including running the prints through the FBI database. Once this background check is complete, you will be scheduled for the next step in the naturalization process – your citizenship interview.
Depending upon the procedures in place at your local USCIS office, the day of our citizenship interview could be a very busy one. Some offices conduct the naturalization interview, citizenship quiz (Engish & Civics), and citizenship ceremony (where you will take the citizenship oath) all on the same day. Other offices require you to attend multiple sessions in order to complete the naturalization process. During the naturalization interview itself, the officer will review your citizenship application (including naturalization form N-400) to confirm your citizenship eligibility. If you have hired a naturalization lawyer to accompany you to the citizenship interview, this is when he or she will earn their fee. The naturalization lawyer can advocate on your behalf if the interviewer has any questions with regard to your citizenship eligibility. Not only could this result in your citizenship being granted, but it could also keep you out of deportation proceedings.
Role of the naturalization lawyer in the naturalization process
Sadly, some individuals who apply for citizenship realize too late that a proper consult with a qualified naturalization lawyer is an essential step in the naturalization process. Many green card holders are surprised to discover that actions taken after they became permanent residents, such as criminal activity or voting, expose them to revocation of their green card and deportation. Some of these unfortunate individuals, who do not realize the danger they are in, unwittingly expose themselves to deportation simply by filing the naturalization application. A naturalization lawyer can apply citizenship standards to the facts of your case to identify issues that would cause your citizenship application to be denied or would cause you to be placed in deportation proceedings.
Other individuals may find it difficult to adequately prove that they have met all of the citizenship requirements. For instance, perhaps they are unable to show the required period of physical presence or they committed an offense that may not necessarily disqualify them from citizenship if presented to immigration officials in the proper light. A qualified naturalization lawyer can help gather the evidence necessary for an approvable citizenship application submission, and can accompany you the interview to help plead your case with the citizenship interviewer if complications arise. Contact a naturalization lawyer at 800.989.6842 and start the naturalization process today!