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Six Tips for Your Citizenship Application
As stated in relevant immigration laws, United States citizenship comes with certain rights and responsibilities. In addition to actual permanent residency, a US citizen gets the right to vote in elections and can travel to and reside abroad with fewer restrictions. A United States citizen can also help an alien family member immigrate and get a green card within a shorter period (when compared to a green card holder petitioning through a permanent resident card). For these reasons, while it can be very difficult to qualify for citizenship, an immigrant will exhaust all of his or her options to become a citizen of the United States.
If you are a foreign national applying for citizenship, below are six tips to keep in mind:
1) Read articles on US citizenship and the 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). A citizenship application can be lengthy and complicated. Blog posts such as this can help clarify the immigration process necessary to become citizens of the United States. These could also help avoid errors in immigration forms and the paperwork you are to submit.
2) If you want to become a citizen of the United States, first check if you can meet all citizenship requirements. Immigration law (U.S.C. § 1427) articulates who is eligible to apply for citizenship. 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.
3) You must anticipate lengthy processing times of citizenship papers. While one can indeed obtain citizenship through an application for naturalization, such could take a while. Think ahead and consider the time that will pass from the time a naturalization application was filed to the actual swearing-in ceremony. Processing wait times alone for an application for citizenship status take eight months on average, and the entire naturalization process often takes longer.
4) As soon as you submit your Application for Naturalization, while your Form N-400 is being processed, start preparing for the succeeding steps in your naturalization application. Remember that there are no such things as ‘over’ preparation. While preparing for your biometrics appointment would mainly be on logistics and supporting documents, the next one is not as simple. Prepare for your citizenship interview and US citizens test. If you come prepared, your immigration interview and citizenship test can be a lot less stressful. These two are generally scheduled in one day and can make or break the entire citizenship process.
5) If you want to acquire citizenship, begin your naturalization application as early as possible. Take note that citizenship applications in certain US Citizenship and Immigration Services field offices take a lot longer than average USCIS processing times. Such is often determined by one’s residency and the volume of applications in the relevant USCIS office. If you live in a place where processing is known to be longer, start as early as possible (while still making sure that all USCIS forms are complete and properly filled out).
6) Get legal help from an immigration attorney from a law firm 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. While your dream of getting a Certificate of Naturalization and taking the Oath of Allegiance is not impossible, you must make sure you go through all the steps stated in US immigration law. The citizenship process is quite long. It would likely take a year to a year and a half before one can naturalize. North Carolina or California immigration attorneys can help every step of the way.
Keep in mind that the US Citizenship and Immigration Services receives numerous applications from immigrants obtaining citizenship. Seek legal assistance from trusted North Carolina or California immigration attorneys. Wait time and processing times can be quite lengthy because each application is carefully reviewed and evaluated. As such, they must, in no way, be rushed or taken simply by an alien aspiring to become a citizen in the United States. Some mistakes can lead to removal proceedings, deportation to your home country, and being permanently not allowed to reside in the US.
Qualifying for citizenship is not easy, but it can be done. Contact our experienced North Carolina immigration attorneys at Diener Law 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 and naturalization,