In most countries, it is not very difficult to become a citizen. If a person is born to a father and/or mother who is a citizen of the country, they are considered a citizen.
However, because people are living, breathing, mobile beings, it is often the case that due to work, persecution, political crises, natural environmental disasters, health, family situation, or one of many other factors, they find themselves in a country other than the one of which they are a citizen by birth.
With little or no option to return home or because of their work, the best option they have is to find a way to obtain the citizenship of their host country. In the United States, it is quite complex for a foreigner to become a naturalized citizen.
There is a long and meticulous process that must be followed and it is difficult for any foreigner to master on their own. Fortunately, there is a solution. If you are considering becoming a U.S. citizen, reading the following can save you unnecessary trouble.
According to the Naturalization Eligibility Worksheet’s instructions, anyone who wishes to apply for U.S. citizenship must be over 18 years old and have a certain number of years of permanent residence in the United States.
In addition, he or she must not be a permanent resident whose spouse died while on active duty in the U.S. military, an employee of a U.S. corporation, research institution, public international organization, or a clergyman.
Other conditions are not directly listed on the worksheet, probably because they are considered criteria for evaluating the application. Legal professionals, other professional associations, and even some individuals may be able to assist applicants in meeting the requirements.
Using the services of an attorney or association specializing in immigration law is an invaluable help.
Approaching the American Immigration Lawyers Association or an immigration attorney is a good solution for you as it will help you avoid making common mistakes. From checking eligibility and requirements to applying, they can walk you through the process to save you time, energy and money in your quest for citizenship.
Your path to naturalization will involve a series of steps. It is advisable to seek the assistance of an immigration lawyer to move your naturalization process forward. An attorney can help you:
- Find out if you are eligible to legally become a U.S. citizen.
- Gather all the information and documents necessary to prove your eligibility.
- Complete Form N-400, Application for Naturalization, with the assistance of an attorney or reputable organization.
- Submit Form N-400, Application for Naturalization, with the assistance of an attorney or reputable organization.
- Make an appointment for biometrics (fingerprints).
- Complete the interview.
- Receive a decision from the USCIS agency on your Form N-400, Application for Naturalization.
- Take the oath of the allegiance to the United States of America and finally,
- Know your rights and responsibilities as an American citizen.
An immigrant who has been recently naturalized
It is often said that those who have been somewhere have done half the work for newcomers. In order to avoid repeating the same mistakes, it is wiser to talk to someone who has been there.
It is true that the U.S. Immigration Services Center is constantly updating information on its website, but there will never be drastic changes overnight. Working with a friend who has just completed the process is always a good idea.
You’ve probably noticed that many areas that were thought to be the exclusive domain of states or governments have been taken over by civil society organizations. Immigration and related issues, including assistance to people seeking naturalization, should be no exception.
Several civil society organizations have formed and are dedicated to providing valuable information and low-cost assistance to people seeking citizenship. They even organize evening or weekend classes to allow those who are free only after their regular work to enroll. However, you need to make sure that the organization you are applying to is officially recognized for this work.
Becoming a citizen can be difficult, but finding help will mitigate the risk and pave the way to a better outcome. I hope this article has helped you find some clues.
Need for help ?
Schedule a personal consultation with Attorney Richard Herman by calling 1-216-696-6170, or by booking online. Consultations can be conducted by zoom, skype, whatsapp, facetime, or in-office.