Becoming a United States citizen is something millions of people dream of, but the process of getting there is not easy. The steps you must take are very important, and one small error could result in a denial. Below, our California immigration lawyer outlines the steps and can guide you through them when it is time to apply.
Dealing with the United States immigration system, including applying for citizenship through naturalization, can be time-consuming, frustrating, and costly. It is highly advisable to obtain your past records and have a full evaluation with an immigration attorney prior to submitting an application for naturalization.
There are a number of eligibility requirements you must meet before you apply for citizenship. You could be eligible if:
You must also have a good understanding of the English language, show good moral character, and meet certain residency requirements. There are certain circumstances where USCIS will find that you lost or otherwise abandoned your lawful permanent resident status through actions following your initial grant of lawful permanent residence, or because your initial grant of permanent residence was not obtained properly. This makes the process of applying for naturalization far riskier than just being promoted to new status once you meet the time requirements. It is highly advisable to obtain your past records and have a full evaluation with an immigration attorney prior to submitting an application for naturalization.
If you are eligible, you must downloadForm N-400 and fill it out entirely. You will have to provide information about your past and current residences, past and current employers, your family members, education, the time you have spent outside of the country, and other personal information.
Along with your application, you will also have to submit two photographs and a copy of your current green card, if applicable. After you have collected all of the necessary supporting documents, send the entire package to the appropriate service center, along with the filing fee. An immigration attorney can help you determine which documents are required, based on your personal and immigration history.
After the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) receives your application, they will contact you about getting your fingerprints taken. They will notify you with a letter stating the time and place you must appear to have this done. Bring the letter, photo identification, and your green card with you to the appointment. The fingerprints are used to conduct a criminal background check on you.
A lawyer can help you gather the necessary documents you will need for the interview and will let you know what you can expect at the interview. The interview is the opportunity for the USCIS Officer to review your forms and supporting documentation with you, and determine your eligibility for the benefit you are requesting. You will most likely be expected to understand your full immigration history. You must bring the original documents for the Officer to examine. It is highly advisable to have your attorney present with you at your interview.
One of the final steps of becoming a United States citizen is to attend a naturalization interview. You will be notified of the time and date by USCIS, and it is advisable to arrive 30 minutes early. You should bring your passport, your green card, originals of any supporting documents submitted with your application, ID, and any permits you may have. You will have to answer questions about your personal background, your application, and confirm that you are willing to take the Oath of Allegiance to the United States.
Part of the naturalization interview also involves a U.S. civics test, and a test that measures your ability to read, write, and speak in English. There are some exceptions to the English exam based on your age and length of time as a lawful permanent resident.
Once you have had your interview, the USCIS will inform you whether they will grant you citizenship, continue your case, or deny the application.
After being granted citizenship, you will have to take theOath of Allegiance to the United States before you become a U.S. Citizen and receive your Certificate of Naturalization. That completes the citizenship process.
For many, there is nothing better than the security that comes with being an American citizen. If you are about to apply, our Salinas immigration lawyer at Miranda, Magden & Miranda can provide the sound legal advice you need, and help you navigate the entire process. Call us today or contact us online to schedule a consultation.
Thank you Miranda and team for the excellent service provided. Miranda is a compassionate, understating, extremely knowledgeable and professional attorney. Her team was always on top of everything making my legal process less stressful. I could never thank Miranda and her assistant Ingrid for holding my hand throughout this difficult process (literally). Miranda is one of the BEST immigration lawyers ever! I would definitely recommend her.
They represented my custody case and handled it like it is their own case and they are best in Monterey County.
The entire team at MMM are superstars! I appreciate all the time and prep that went into my original case many years ago. And now recently, I asked for some help on a follow-up custody matter that I felt I could handle myself but just needed their expertise to properly represent all the important details. They are knowledgeable, extremely thorough, and prepared me for every possible scenario. I can't thank them enough!
My partner and I sought legal advice on bringing my fiance' to the United States with this office after having called a few immigration attorney offices around Monterey County. Having never sought legal advice before it was a refreshing experience in which we both really felt that Patricia listened intently to our goals and needs, and then not only gave us thorough advice, but also she really showed a lot of empathy with our situation and all the challenges we faced in what we trying to do. I would definitely recommend this office for anyone who is unclear about what..
Working with Patricia was a professional encounter unlike any other, an absolute 5-star experience. From the first moment, we walked into our consultation until the moment our case was closed and my husband walked away with his permanent resident card Patricia was communicative, professional, and thorough. Her team contacted us every step of the way providing valuable process and law changes we would not have been able to catch if we tried to navigate this endeavor alone. Patricia answered our endless question stream with thoughtfulness and care, calling us countless times to ensure we were clear on every piece of..
Last year, I had just moved in the area and needed a family law attorney for a custody case. The process of finding/choosing an attorney could be daunting. However, when I went in for my first consultation with Levi my stress level was immediately mollified. He was personable, which made me feel comfortable to discuss my personal matters freely. I had a lot of questions of the legal process that would take place and he took the time to explain everything with meticulous detail. More importantly, when I called Levi he returned my phone calls in a timely/professional time frame...
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