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Whether you came to the United States to advance your career, invest in your education, or be with a loved one, you’ve decided that you want to pursue citizenship. We’re here to help you reach that goal. While the naturalization process in the United States can seem overwhelming and time-consuming, it’s much easier to navigate with the help of an immigration attorney.

Learn more about your options, get help with a snag you’ve hit in the naturalization process, or find out if you’re on the right path. Just call Castillo & Associates at 800-497-9774.

Navigating the Citizenship Process

 The process of becoming a U.S. citizen is meant to verify your qualifications and do an in-depth check for any disqualifying health concerns or criminal convictions. There are several different pathways you may follow to seek citizenship, including holding a green card for at least five years, being married to an American citizen for at least three years, or serving in the military.

After verifying that you do qualify for naturalization, you will need to fill out Form N-400 and pay all required fees to USCIS. You will then attend a biometrics appointment and an interview with an immigration official. USCIS will make a final decision regarding Form N-400. If you do not pass the required English test or civics test, you may be required to take them again.

Upon getting your Form N-400 approved, you will be scheduled to take an Oath of Allegiance. For some applicants, this happens on the same day as your USCIS interview. If not, you will receive an official notice with the details of your ceremony.

On the day of your ceremony, you will fill out Form N-445 and go to the naturalization ceremony to have Form N-445 reviewed. From there, you will hand in your green card, take your Oath of Allegiance, and receive your Certificate of Naturalization. Review it before leaving the ceremony so that you can have any errors corrected. At this point, you are officially a United States citizen.

Naturalization Requirements in the United States

 While there are multiple routes to citizenship in the United States, you have to meet the same general requirements no matter which path you choose. These requirements include:

  • At least 18 years old
  • A permanent resident for at least five years with a continuous presence in the United States; shortened to three years for those who are married to a U.S. citizen or who have qualified for citizenship via military service
  • Must have been in the country for at least 30 consecutive months during the five-year residency period
  • Strong moral character
  • Must have lived in current location for at least three months
  • General knowledge of civics and United States history
  • Ability to read, write, and speak basic English
  • Commitment to the United States 

The entire citizenship process is meant to verify that you meet these requirements. As you may have noticed, the residency period is considerably shorter for those who qualify via marriage or military service. There are other such exceptions for other requirements, which is why it’s important to work with an immigration attorney throughout this process.

Issues That May Arise During the Naturalization Process

 There are several issues that could stand as a barrier between you and your goal of citizenship. They include:

  • Taxes: If you are behind on taxes, this is enough to get your citizenship application denied. If you have fallen behind on tax payments, it’s crucial to set up a payment arrangement with the IRS.
  • Child support: You are expected to support any minor children you have. Being behind on child support may cause your citizenship application to be denied.
  • Instability in the family life: While child support is the best example of this, other issues regarding your family life may come up in the application process. This is particularly true for those who qualify for citizenship via marriage.
  • Selective Service: Male green card holders between 18 and 25 are expected to register for the Selective Service. Failure to do so is reason enough to get an attorney involved.
  • Moral concerns: There are numerous ways that USCIS assesses an applicant’s moral standing. If you are dishonest or fraudulent during the immigration process, that may be a concern for them. Any serious criminal convictions may also get your application flagged.

Choose Castillo & Associates for Your Immigration and Naturalization Needs

If you’re ready to move forward with your dream of becoming a United States citizen, we’re excited to help you get there. Set up a consultation with our experienced immigration attorneys now by calling us at 800-497-9774 or reaching out to us online.

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