Unlocking U.S. Citizenship: How an Immigration Lawyer Can Help?

by: Attorney Noyes

8/22/20232 min read

Pursuing U.S. citizenship is a significant journey, offering better opportunities and freedoms. However, the complex landscape of U.S. immigration laws can lead to delays and complications in the naturalization process. With over 20 pages of applications and numerous questions to address, the process can be daunting without guidance from an experienced immigration lawyer. This is especially true if you have a criminal history, extended periods outside the U.S. after obtaining your Green Card, or other circumstances that could affect your eligibility.

Understanding the Naturalization Process

Naturalization entails gaining U.S. citizenship for individuals aged 18 and above who aren't citizens by birth or parentage. The process involves several steps:

1. Meeting eligibility criteria: Qualifications include being a lawful permanent resident (Green Card holder) for 5 years (3 if married to a U.S. citizen), demonstrating good moral character, and meeting physical presence and residency conditions.

2. Completing Form N-400: Submit the Application for Naturalization with accurate information, supporting documents, and fees.

3. Biometric appointment: Attend a biometrics appointment for fingerprinting and documentation.

4. Citizenship interview: Undergo an interview with USCIS, including English proficiency and U.S. civics tests.

5. Receiving a decision: Await a decision on your application's approval.

6. Oath of Allegiance: Attend a ceremony to become a U.S. citizen officially.

The Role of an Immigration Lawyer

While hiring an immigration lawyer isn't mandatory, it can significantly benefit your naturalization journey:

1. Document preparation: An attorney helps complete USCIS forms and documents accurately.

2. Communication with USCIS: Your lawyer acts as a liaison, addressing agency notices, answering questions, and providing updates.

3. Test preparation: Prepare for English proficiency and civics tests, enhancing your chances of success.

4. Interview representation: An attorney guides you in answering questions, handles complex legal matters, and ensures a calm, focused interview.

Special Cases Requiring Legal Assistance

Certain situations, like tax issues or criminal history, may necessitate an attorney's guidance. Complications can arise if you obtain a green card through marriage and apply for citizenship within three years, especially if your marriage is experiencing challenges.

Boosting Success with an Immigration Lawyer

Regardless of complexity, an immigration lawyer enhances your chances of success. They prepare you for tests, navigate interviews, communicate with USCIS, and ensure accurate documentation.

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. How long does naturalization take?

The process lasts 5 to 7 months on average, varying by USCIS field office.

2. Who can help with immigration cases?

An immigration lawyer is equipped to handle every stage.

3. Can a lawyer accompany you to an interview?

Yes, they can represent you.

4. Why hire an attorney for the interview?

They prepare you for questions, ease intimidation, and help you respond accurately.

Navigating citizenship becomes smoother with an immigration lawyer by your side. At Noyes & Associates, we offer the expertise you need to achieve your U.S. citizenship goals.