Compassionate Los Angeles Citizenship Lawyer On Your Side
For many immigrants, acquiring citizenship is a key milestone in their journey to full economic, political, and social participation in the United States. It is symbolic of their contributions to the United States and their dedication to American society. Moreover, there are also economic benefits afforded to individuals who chose to naturalize as United States citizens, as naturalized citizens earn more than their noncitizen counterparts on average and are less likely to face unemployment. Regardless of the reason, naturalization is often a monumental part of the immigrant story. Acquiring citizenship through naturalization is a difficult and legally complicated process, requiring a great deal of time, effort, and dedication. It is for this reason that many people seek guidance from an experienced Los Angeles citizenship lawyer to avoid the common pitfalls that often arise. If you are considering naturalizing as a United States citizen, having a Los Angeles naturalization lawyer to uphold your rights and advocate for your success can be incredibly beneficial. To learn more about how Diaz Law Firm can help, consider contacting the office at (626) 261-0402 today.
What Does Naturalization Mean?
Citizenship can be acquired either at birth or after birth, through an extensive legal process. Naturalization refers to the process in which a foreign-born person becomes a United States citizen. The rules and requirements associated with naturalizing as a citizen varies from country to country, and in the United States one must pledge to uphold the law and subscribe to an oath of allegiance.
According to data from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, over 7.4 million people were naturalized over the last decade. Mexico, India, the Philippines, and the Dominican Republic are the most common countries of birth for naturalized citizens, but nearly all nationalities are represented. Importantly, the vast majority of these newly naturalized citizens spent years living and working in the United States, positioning them as ideal individuals to become official members of the fabric of American society.
The Citizenship & Naturalization Process in the United States
The naturalization process in the United States is complicated and legally intricate. In order to apply for citizenship in the United States, a person must confirm that they meet all of the requirements for naturalization. These requirements include the following:
- Spent five years as a Lawful Permanent Resident (Green Card holder) or three years if you are the spouse of a United States citizen
- Confirm that your Green Card will expire within six months of applying for citizenship or that your card has already expired
- Are at least 18 years of age and are able to write and speak basic English
- Can demonstrate good moral character, knowledge of United States history and government, and loyalty to the guiding principles of the United States Constitution
- Be willing to take the Oath of Allegiance
Ultimately, eligibility for naturalization is contingent on several factors, including how long you have held your Green Card and the amount of time that you have spent physically residing in the United States. For example, the spouse of a United States citizen who serves in the military will have different eligibility requirements than a person who holds a Green Card with no special circumstances. An experienced Los Angeles naturalization lawyer can provide more detailed insight regarding eligibility requirements and whether you qualify to apply for citizenship through naturalization.
How to Apply for Citizenship in the United States?
A person must first establish that they are eligible to apply for naturalization to become a United State citizen before they can initiate the process. If all requirements are met, a person may begin the application process by filing Form N-400, Application for Naturalization with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This form can be filed either online or by paper, via mail. The application will call for specific information regarding your Green Card, a copy of your marriage certificate if applicable, passport-style photographs, and other personal information about you and your residence in the United States.
Once Form N-400 has been successfully completed and filed, the USCIS will provide a confirmation receipt and begin processing your application. If applicable, you will receive a notice to attend biometric services. Then, you will likely be required to take the United States Naturalization Test and appear for an in-person interview at your local USCIS office. At the interview, the USCIS officer will ask a range of questions regarding your background and application.
Once all the necessary steps have been taken, you will receive a decision on your application. The USCIS will either grant your citizenship, deny your Form N-400 if your record establishes that you are not eligible for naturalization, or request further information. If the USCIS approves your application, you will be notified of the date of your naturalization ceremony, where you will take the Oath of Allegiance and become a full-fledged United States citizen.
How Long Does it Take to Obtain Citizenship Through Naturalization?
Oftentimes, the process of applying for citizenship through naturalization is long and time-consuming. On average, it takes between 18 months to two years to complete the process and become a citizen. In some cases, however, it can take much longer. Seeking guidance from a Los Angeles citizenship lawyer can help greatly to prevent delays and ensure that your application is completed properly. Your attorney will work alongside you to compile evidence and craft the strongest application possible to increase your chance of success.
Hiring a Los Angeles Citizenship Lawyer Near You
At Diaz Law Firm, we deeply understand the emotional importance of acquiring citizenship in the United States. Above all, we believe that immigrants who contribute to American society and the economy should be afforded the same rights as United States citizens. This is the motivation behind DLF’s work. DLF provides high-quality legal representation for individuals who wish to pursue United States citizenship and work diligently to prevent costly errors during the application process. To learn more about how knowledgeable Los Angeles citizenship lawyer Cheryl Deptowicz-Diaz can help, consider contacting DLF at (626) 261-0402 today.