The dream of many immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers who have come to the United States to live and work is to become a naturalized citizen eventually. While the path to citizenship is not quick and easy, citizenship through naturalization is undoubtedly attainable given the millions who have completed the journey.
The process of becoming a naturalized citizen with all the rights and benefits of a natural-born U.S. citizen requires completing an application correctly, accurate documentation, considerable patience, and study.
What is Naturalization?
A naturalized citizen of the United States is a foreign-born individual who has met all the requirements of becoming a citizen as established by the Immigration and Naturalization Act (INA) passed by the U.S. Congress. Once you have been awarded citizenship, you can enjoy all of the rights and benefits of a natural-born U.S. citizen. The rights to vote and receive government benefits as well as the ability to work, own a home, and participate in the political process will become a part of your normal life.
What are the Requirements to Become a Naturalized Citizen?
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has established the following essential requirements for a foreign-born individual to become a naturalized citizen:
The candidate must be:
- At least 18 years of age.
- Permanent resident (green card holder) for at least five years and maintain continuous residency during that time.
- Must have lived within the state or USCIS jurisdiction where the application is being filed for at least three months.
- Have continuous residence in the U.S. for five years.
- Have physically resided in the U.S. for at least 30 months of the five years before the application for naturalization was submitted.
- Must physically remain in the United States during the time between applying and until the actual time of naturalization.
- Be able to speak and read English and have sufficient knowledge of U.S. History and government or civics.
- A person of good moral character with a favorable disposition toward the principles of the Constitution and the laws of the nation.
There are some exceptions to these requirements. A green card holder serving in the United States military honorably for at least one year may forego some residency requirements. More information regarding veterans and naturalization can be found on the USCIS website.
Spouses and children of active duty military serving overseas and of U.S. citizens will also receive special consideration.
How to Apply for U.S. Naturalized Citizenship
Once you have determined that you meet the requirements for naturalization, you may proceed with the application Form N-400, Application for Naturalization. Instructions and the appropriate fees for filing can be found on the USCIS website. The process can be complicated, and the assistance of a qualified immigration lawyer can make sure the application is submitted correctly and documentation is provided in the right format.
Interview and Testing
After you have submitted the application and fees, you will be contacted for an interview and schedule testing for your proficiency in English and government affairs. USCIS provides a video to view an example of the interview process and information to help prepare for the tests.
Your certified immigration lawyer can assist by explaining the potential traps and pitfalls of the process.
Contact Davis & Associates for a Free Consultation
To assist with the complicated process of naturalization, contact Davis & Associates of Dallas TX, managed by lead attorney, Garry Davis. They are an award-winning, multilingual immigration law firm that specializes only in naturalization and other immigration and residency matters.
In today’s political climate, seeking immigration, residency, and naturalized citizenship is becoming more challenging, and professional legal help is essential to achieve the goals of the client.
Scheduling a free, first-time consultation with Davis & Associates will help you to understand all of the responsibilities and requirements of attaining U.S. citizenship. You will also learn the benefits of working with a professional immigration lawyer when applying for naturalization. An experienced immigration law firm like Davis & Associates in Dallas can ease the stress of applying for citizenship by:
- Ensuring the application is accurate, the right fees are paid, and all documentation is presented on time.
- making sure everything is timely.
- providing advice and support for the English and civics tests.
Visit the Davis & Associates website to review the Articles section to learn more about citizenship and other general immigration and residency matters.
To schedule your free consultation, find the Davis & Associates registration form on the Contact Us page and fill in the brief information form.
You will be contacted promptly by a Davis & Associates professional to schedule your free consultation.
Or, phone for your free legal consultation at (214)-628-9888.
About Davis & Associates:
Davis & Associates is the immigration law firm of choice in North Texas including Dallas, Fort Worth, Plano, Frisco, McKinney and surrounding areas. Their attorneys provide expert legal counsel for all aspects of immigration law, including deportation defense, writs of habeas corpus and mandamus, family-sponsored immigration, employment-sponsored immigration, investment immigration, employer compliance, temporary visas for work and college, permanent residence, naturalization, consular visa processing, waivers, and appeals. Attorney Garry L. Davis is Board Certified in Immigration and Nationality Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.