Naturalization is the process in immigration law in which a person earns citizenship in a country, and it allows foreign-born people to become full-fledged American citizens and possess most of the same rights as other United States citizens.
Not only will you gain the right of the nationality law to vote, but you also earn priority in sponsoring family members for green cards, may be able to obtain citizenship for children born outside the country, are able to travel with a U.S. passport, and receive full protection from any deportation. When you need help with the naturalization process, make sure you are working with an experienced immigration lawyer in the Austin area.
Naturalization is not as simple as just asking to become a citizen. Instead, you are going to need to follow the immigration process to file an application and provide a wide variety of supporting documents in addition to agreeing to an interview and passing a citizenship test.
Title 8 U.S. Code § 1427(a) establishes that a person cannot be naturalized by immigration law unless they:
(USCIS) notes that in order for a person to apply for naturalization to become a citizen, they have to:
Many foreign-born nationals living in the United States in some legal status often dream of one day passing all requirements to become a U.S. citizens. In fact, being a U.S. citizen is desirable for them for many reasons, one of which is the ability to travel easily and freely. Seek help from an Austin citizenship lawyer.
If you were born outside the United States and wish to become a U.S. citizen, you must go through what is known as “naturalization,” which is a legal process by which someone like you becomes a U.S. citizen if you meet certain requirements.
For instance, If you meet these Requirements to Become a U.S. Citizen, you can submit your Form N-400 Application for Naturalization to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) by paper or online.
You can apply for naturalization online or by paper the entire process. Filing online will require you to create a USCIS online account. So, you can file an application online and submit evidence, and pay fees electronically. Receive case status updates about your case, communicate with USCIS securely and directly, and respond to requests for evidence. An experienced immigration attorney can help you with your application.
To file immigration cases by paper, you should read the instructions for Form N-400. Application for citizenship, complete and sign Form N-400. Pay the filing fee when applicable, and provide all required evidence and supporting documentation.
There are essentially three ways that people with an immigrant visa can become permanent residents. In addition to citizenship legal status, you can also obtain a certificate of citizenship or a passport application.
Naturalization is the immigration process of a lawful permanent resident (LPR) becoming a citizen of the United States. The multiple steps involved in naturalization are outlined above.
After an application for immigration status and tests are successfully finished. Wait to receive approval from the immigration law (USCIS). The final step of your immigration case will be you taking the Oath of Allegiance to the United States.
Before you can apply for naturalization, you first must be a permanent resident. You can become a lawful permanent resident (LPR) or green card holder, as the status is popularly referred to, through employment if certain requirements are met. The requirements for obtaining an employment-based green card are as follows:
You can become a green card holder through family if you meet the following criteria:
Besides these two primary avenues of becoming a US permanent resident, there are other lesser commonly utilized avenues such as self-petitioning, diversity visa lottery, and investing significantly in the United States.
One becomes a United States citizen either by birth or through naturalization.
Naturalization is the immigration process of a green card holder becoming a citizen of the United States. The multiple steps involved in naturalization are outlined above.
The process begins with your filing an N-400 Application for Naturalization with USCIS. The application must be accompanied by all the necessary documents to show that you meet the criteria for approval as well as with the correct filing fee.
Many people are surprised to find out they are either ineligible to apply for citizenship or, if they are eligible, they are denied citizenship often for reasons they could have avoided had they known. If you are contemplating applying for citizenship, you may wish to familiarize yourself with some of these reasons:
Not everyone who passes the prerequisite to becoming a U.S. citizen is approved. There are many reasons why an application for naturalization may be denied, but the most common reasons include the following:
A certificate of citizenship is a document proving the U.S. citizenship of a person who was born outside the country. Just to clarify, the person was born to United States citizen parents. It does not on its own grant citizenship, but instead recognizes and confirms citizenship status already obtained by an applicant.
If you automatically obtained citizenship after being born but before turning 18 years of age. When you became a citizen after birth but before the age of 18, you will have to satisfy four basic requirements before your 18th birthday:
Seek legal assistance in immigration legal services with a qualified immigration attorney at J Spark Law, PLLC. Our Austin immigration attorneys have legal specialization in immigration-related matters.
Applying for a certificate of citizenship will require you to submit a Form N-600 (Application for Certificate of Citizenship). As well as the petitioner and U.S. parents’ birth certificate, two passport-style photos, and some proof of one parent’s citizenship. USCIS describes a certificate of citizenship eligibility as either acquisition. Which refers to children who are born outside the U.S. to parents with U.S. citizenship, or derivations. Which refers to children of parents who are LPRs or green card holders and obtained U.S. citizenship.
If you were born outside the country and your parents failed to register your birth at the U.S. Embassy or consulate. You can still apply for a U.S. passport. You will need a foreign birth record that shows both of your parents’ names. Also, you need evidence of your parent(s) U.S. citizenship, and your parents’ marriage certificate.
An Austin immigration attorney from our law firm can help you to get a certificate of citizenship through all procedures of immigration law.
The passport application is known as a DS-11, and it states that applying for a U.S. passport involves completing the application, attaching one color photograph 2×2 inches in size, as well as supporting documents that can differ depending on whether you were born inside or outside the United States, scheduling an appointment to apply in person, and then arriving for the appointment to present all of your immigration papers before tracking the application status and then receiving the passport.
Applicants born in the United States will have to submit an original or certified copy and a photocopy of the front and back (when there is printed information on the back) of a U.S. Birth Certificate that was issued by the city, county, or state of birth, lists your full name, birth date, birthplace, parent(s)’ full names, the date filed with the registrar’s office (must be within one year of birth), and shows the registrar’s signature and the seal of the issuing authority; a fully valid, undamaged U.S. passport that can be expired; a Consular Report of Birth Abroad or Certification of Birth Abroad; or a Certificate of Citizenship. Secondary documents can be required in some cases.
Applicants born outside the United States who seek citizenship or permanent resident status through the immigration process of one or both parent(s) can submit their parent(s) Certificate(s) of Naturalization, their parents’ marriage/certificate, and/or evidence that they were in the legal and physical custody of a U.S. citizen parent, their foreign birth certificate, or evidence of admission to the United States for legal permanent residence and proof you subsequently resided in the United States.
Immigrants claiming permanent residency through birth abroad to at least one U.S. citizen parent submit their Consular Report of Birth Abroad (Form FS-240), Certification of Birth (Form DS-1350 or FS-545), or their foreign birth certificate (and official translation if the document is not in English), their parent’s proof of U.S. citizenship, their parents’ marriage certificate, and an affidavit showing all their U.S. citizen parents’ periods and places of residence and physical presence before their birth. Applicants claiming citizenship through adoption by a U.S. citizen submit their permanent residence status, their full and final adoption, proof they were in the legal and physical custody of their U.S. citizen parent(s), and proof they have resided in the United States.
Many people make the mistake of assuming a citizenship test is an easy exam they can wing and pass with little or no preparation. That is just not the case. To take and pass the naturalization exam, one must take time and prepare. The USCIS website has some resources to practice your English skills and your civics test. You can either print these questions and practice them at every opportunity you have free time, or you can download the questions and practice them when free or in between tasks. Get your family or friends involved, if possible, by having them ask you the questions.
The civics test has questions that are divided into five subjects: government, history, geography, holidays, and symbols. You should think of each of them as a separate subject matter. This will make it easier for you to remember during the test as your brain will take a cue and organize the knowledge in different “boxes” for easy retrieval during the actual exam.
It is natural to hang out with those who speak your language. You also might tend to speak your native language at home, but both habits and practices make it harder to learn to speak English enough to pass the test. Try to speak English as much as possible leading up to the exam. You can also take classes, watch TV, read online articles, and do your best to communicate with others in English. The more you do this, the higher your chances of passing the naturalization process with the citizenship test.
If you are trying to become an American citizen, do not try to navigate the process on your own. The immigration lawyers at J. Sparks Law, PLLC have represented immigrants all over Texas for more than two decades in immigration matters, Our law offices with our best texas board certified immigration attorney can review your case when you call (512) 952-2176 or contact us online for immigration law services or for a free consultation.
To obtain U.S. citizenship, you must follow a strict process and meet all requirements. Start by consulting with an Austin immigration lawyer who can assess your eligibility. Then, we can help you apply by submitting Form N-400, the Application for Naturalization, along with the required documents and fees. You will need to attend a biometrics appointment, undergo an interview, and, if approved, participate in a naturalization ceremony.
You can apply for U.S. citizenship after being a permanent resident for at least five years (or three years if married to a U.S. citizen) and meeting specific eligibility criteria. For example, applicants must demonstrate continuous residence, physical presence, and good moral character. Additionally, candidates must pass an English language and civics test, showcasing their knowledge of U.S. history and government.
Certain exemptions exist based on age and duration of residency. Meeting these eligibility criteria is crucial for a successful naturalization application, and individuals often seek guidance from citizenship attorneys to navigate the process accurately.
The timeline to become a U.S. citizen varies, but on average, the process takes 8 to 14 months. After submitting Form N-400 (Application for Naturalization), applicants undergo biometrics, attend an interview, and take the English language and civics test.
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) reviews the application, conducts background checks, and schedules a naturalization ceremony upon approval. Delays can occur due to factors like case complexity or USCIS processing times. Seeking guidance from immigration professionals can help navigate the process efficiently.
Yes, you can live permanently in the U.S. as a lawful permanent resident (green card holder) without obtaining citizenship. Certain rights, such as voting, are exclusive to citizens. Further, citizens do not face the threat of deportation upon serious criminal convictions or other violations.
To learn about the additional benefits you can receive by seeking citizenship, speak with an attorney who can assess your specific situation.
An Austin citizenship lawyer plays a crucial role in facilitating a smooth and successful citizenship application process. Our professionals offer experienced guidance, ensuring accurate completion of the complex Form N-400 and gathering necessary supporting documents.
We provide legal counsel on eligibility criteria, address potential challenges, and strategize for the English language and civics test. A citizenship lawyer prepares the applicant for the interview, advocating for their interests and addressing any concerns that may arise. Additionally, we navigate potential issues such as prior immigration violations or criminal records.
With our knowledge of U.S. immigration laws, an Austin citizenship lawyer enhances the likelihood of a favorable outcome, guiding applicants through each step and minimizing the stress associated with the naturalization process.