Obtaining Citizenship Through Naturalization
Naturalization is the process by which an individual will become a lawful U.S. citizen. Navigating the challenges of gaining citizenship on your own can take you much longer than you expected, or keep you from earning it at all. Instead of going through it alone, rely on the experienced representation of our team at Bartell, Georgalas & Juarez, L.P.A. Co.. We are committed to helping you earn the outcome you deserve in these matters, and also understand everything about the process.
Who Qualifies For Citizenship
There are various steps that must be taken and certain eligibility requirements that must be met. If you fulfill these requirements and your application is accepted, then you may be granted citizenship by the United States government. There are various prerequisites and requirements that have been established by Congress in the Immigration and Nationality Act, these requirements include:
- You must be at least 18 years of age
- You must be a lawful permanent resident of the U.S.
- You must have maintained consistent residency for the past five years
- You must be of good moral character and have refrained from criminal activity
- You must have at least an elementary understanding of the English language
- You must have a basic understanding of U.S. history and politics
Once you qualify for citizenship, there are two options you can pursue of securing that outcome, through the naturalization process or derived or acquired citizenship through parents.
What Is Involved In The Naturalization Process?
To apply for naturalization you must fill out an application called the N-400 form. Once this application is processed, you will be required to meet with an employee from USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) for an interview. In this interview, you will be tested on your understanding of English and U.S. politics and history. Subsequent to this interview you will receive notification that your application has been accepted or rejected or is continuing. If you receive notice that your application is continuing, then additional documentation is required or you need to retake a test.
Barriers To Naturalization
Past immigration violations, such as unlawful entry or overstaying a visa, can make a person ineligible for citizenship. Certain criminal convictions can also be a barrier to naturalization, whether the offense occurred in the United States or in the home country. Continuous residency in the United States can also be an issue.
We have extensive experience with difficult cases. Our lawyers have helped immigrants who have “black marks” on their record overcome these obstacles to become eligible for citizenship. If there is something in your history or a recent matter that might jeopardize your dream of becoming an American citizen, please reach out to us to discuss what can be done to fix your status.
Who Is Eligible For Consular Processing?
There are two ways to apply for permanent resident status, commonly called a green card, which allows immigrants to live and work in the United States. Those living outside the United States can apply at a U.S. Department of State consulate. This is known as consular processing. Individuals currently in the United States go through a different procedure, called an adjustment of status.
We can work with you to verify that you fall into one of the eligibility categories for consular processing, assist with filing an immigrant petition and guide you through other aspects of consular processing. Typically, consular processing begins with a petition filed on your behalf by a family member or an employer, but there are other avenues as well. An immigration attorney can help you determine the best path for you.
If your petition is approved, you will be assigned an immigrant visa number once one becomes available. The next step is an interview at the consular office in your home country. Your immigration attorney can help you prepare for a successful interview.
Earning Employment-Based Visa Eligibility
U.S. law requires employers to obtain proof of identity and employment eligibility from all employees hired on, or after November 6, 1986. According to 8 C.F.R. Section 274a.2, the employment eligibility form I-9 is designated as the means of documenting this eligibility. There are essentially two different ways to be eligible to work in the U.S.:
- To be a lawful permanent resident or citizen of the U.S.
- To be an employment visa holder such as an E-1 visa, or H-1 visa
Our firm has been assisting immigrants and businesses in various employment issues for many years with a long history of success. We understand how the process works, and you can be sure that we can put our skills and experience to work for you if you choose to work with us. Our philosophy is to strive for positive results and provide excellent service for our clients. We are committed to your case from start to finish.
Allow Our Immigration Firm to Help!
Bartell Georgalas & Juarez can assist you through the application process for citizenship. We have a long history of success in helping individuals in various immigration matters. We understand the stress and anxiety that you may be experiencing, and you can be sure that we will work with you through this process if you choose to employ our skilled services. Our firm serves clients throughout the United States, including Michigan, Illinois, Louisiana, Tennessee, and Indiana.