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What is Naturalization?
Naturalization is a process in which foreign born people over the age of 18 can become citizens in the U.S. There are many eligibility requirements a person must fulfill before they submit an application for naturalization such as:
- Hold a valid Green Card
- Fill out the N-400 form
- Provide biometric information to USCIS
- Attend an interview with USCIS
- Attend the swearing in ceremony
- Hand in your I-551 card (Green Card)
- You will subsequently receive a naturalization certificate
It’s important to file all of your documentation properly. Do not fail to show up for your appointments with USCIS. This could significantly delay your application.
Who is Eligible for U.S. Citizenship and Naturalization?
- You must be at least 18 years old (unless you were adopted by a U.S. citizen).
- Show proof that you’ve been a lawful resident of the U.S. for at least five years
- Pass a test in English and U.S. Civics
- Have good moral character and show a favorable disposition towards the U.S.
- Permanent protections from deportation
- Ownership of a U.S. Passport
- You can obtain public benefits available only to U.S. citizens
- You can apply for a green card for your relatives
- Use the Immediate Relative Category for immigration
- Your children can become U.S. citizens
- You may reside outside the U.S. without risk of losing your status
- You can vote in all U.S. elections
- Access to jobs not available to non-citizens
Can I Become a U.S. Citizen if I have a Criminal Record?
If you have a criminal record, we recommend you get legal assistance during your U.S. Citizenship and Naturalization process. An immigration attorney can help you ensure that you properly disclose your criminal record where required in your application. If you have been convicted of murder or an aggravated felony, your application will be automatically rejected. Additionally, you could face deportation. There are some crimes which may or may not bar you from obtaining U.S. Citizenship. Speak with an experienced immigration attorney to find out if your record might keep you from Naturalization.
Keep in mind, lying on your application is grounds for immediate rejection.
What Is the Process for U.S. Citizenship and Naturalization?
The first step is determining whether or not you are eligible to apply for citizenship. Once you know that you’ve met the requirements and file the correct paperwork, you wait for approval from USCIS. They might ask you for more information and schedule an interview with you.
Hire a Phoenix Immigration Attorney to Help with U.S. Citizenship and Naturalization
The immigration attorneys at Ybarra Maldonado can help you determine if you are eligible and help you file the correct paperwork. We also help you prepare for your interview with USCIS and your English and Civics exam.
If your application was denied, we can help you appeal it. In the event USCIS is requesting additional information from you and you don’t know how to satisfy their requirements, we can help you determine how to provide the additional information needed. Contact us for a free case evaluation.