What You Need to Know About Applying for U.S. Citizenship
There are two ways to become a citizen of the United States: by birth or through the naturalization process. The naturalization process can be a complicated process that is best handled by an experienced Portland citizenship attorney.
At The Law Offices of Anable & Rivera, we represent individuals and their families who are seeking U.S. citizenship. Our citizenship attorneys will walk you through the process, helping you to understand your rights and responsibilities. To become a U.S. citizen through naturalization, contact us online or call (805) 485-6800 to schedule a confidential consultation.
Requirements for Becoming a U.S. Citizen
According to the Department of Homeland Security, you can either become a citizen of the United States at birth or by naturalization.
The most common ways to become a citizen are:
- Being a child of a United States citizen
- Being married to a U.S. Citizen
- Serving in the armed forces of the United States
- Being a lawful permanent resident for 5 years
Suppose you are the spouse of a U.S. citizen. In that case, you must have resided continuously in the United States as a lawful permanent resident for the previous three years to be eligible. In addition to residency, a person may also have to meet other requirements, such as being at least 18 years old when you seek naturalization and having the ability to read, write, and speak basic English.
Do I Need an Attorney to Apply for Citizenship?
It is generally in your best interest to have legal representation throughout the naturalization process. A Portland citizenship attorney can help you understand your rights and ensure that you meet all legal deadlines. The naturalization process can be a long, arduous process.
One small error in paperwork can further delay your proceedings. An attorney will work with you to ensure that the paperwork you file is timely and accurate.
Multi-Step Naturalization Process
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has created a 10-step naturalization process to help individuals become U.S. citizens. Again, retaining a citizenship attorney to represent you throughout your naturalization is strongly recommended.
The 10-step naturalization process includes the following:
- Determining if you are already a citizen
- Determining if you are eligible to become a citizen
- Preparing an application for naturalization (Form N-400)
- Submitting the application and paying the applicable fees
- Attending a biometric appointment (if necessary)
- Completing a USCIS interview
- Receiving a decision from the USCIS
- Receiving a notice to take the “Oath of Allegiance”
- Taking the “Oath of Allegiance”
- Understanding your rights and responsibilities related to citizenship
No two immigration cases are the same. Therefore, it is important to consult with an attorney who has extensive experience handling naturalization cases. With the help of an attorney, you may receive the outcome you deserve. A Portland citizenship attorney can help ensure that all your documents are properly filed and help you prepare for each step of the naturalization process.
What Does Becoming a Naturalized Citizen Do?
Becoming a naturalized citizen affords you many rights in the United States. U.S. citizens have the right to vote and can act as sponsors for relatives living outside the country. Citizenship also allows you to obtain a U.S. passport and serve on a jury. You can also apply for federal jobs and become an elected official. There are numerous benefits to becoming a citizen that should be explored in depth.