Philadelphia Citizenship & Naturalization Lawyer
Many green card holders dream of becoming U.S. citizens. Citizenship confers many benefits, including the ability to vote, run for certain political offices, and serve on juries. The process of receiving citizenship is called “naturalization,” and it is a lengthy, somewhat confusing process.
At Ellenberg Law Group, we have helped many people realize their dreams of becoming U.S. citizens. Naturalization is not easy. Applicants will benefit from the sound advice and counseling of an experienced attorney who has helped many people through the naturalization process. Please contact us today with any questions. One of our Philadelphia citizenship & naturalization lawyers can meet with you to review.
An Overview of the Naturalization Process
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) oversees the naturalization process. You might have worked with them when seeking legal permanent resident status or when seeking asylum.
There are many requirements for naturalization:
- Be at least 18 years of age when you file your application
- Hold lawful permanent residence status for either 3 or 5 years (depending on your circumstances)
- Demonstrate good moral character
- Understand U.S. civics and government
- Demonstrate an ability to speak, read, and comprehend basic English
- Continuously reside in the United States
- Be willing to take the Oath of Allegiance
- Demonstrate that you are loyal to U.S. Constitutional principles
Many applicants are worried about being able to speak English well enough to seek citizenship. This can be a challenge, but we can discuss ways to prepare.
Some other issues that arise during naturalization include:
- Unpaid taxes. These could prevent your approval, but you can still go through with naturalization if you show you are trying to resolve the tax issue, such as entering a payment plan.
- Unpaid child support. You need to show you can support children, so you should address unpaid child support.
- Misstatements on the application. You can be denied citizenship if you lie on an application. Many errors are the result of carelessness, however.
- Criminal history. Some crimes (like serious felonies) will permanently bar you from achieving citizenship. Other crimes will make you ineligible for a certain amount of time.
The process to becoming a naturalized citizen begins with filing the Application for Naturalization, Form N-400. It is vital that you complete the form fully and accurately. Mistakes or omissions can slow the naturalization process or lead to a denial. You will also receive notice of when to appear for an interview with an official, if one is required.
An attorney can provide invaluable advice to anyone considering naturalization. We can discuss whether anything will trip up your application and how to address it. We can also review your Form N-400 to ensure it is complete. If you are worried about the interview, we can discuss what to expect and how to prepare. And if your application is denied, we can discuss next steps.
Realize Your Dream of Citizenship Today
Ellenberg Law Group has proudly helped countless individuals and families obtain citizenship. If you are interested, please contact our firm to speak with a Philadelphia citizenship & naturalization lawyer. There is no time to apply like the present.