Becoming naturalized as a United States citizen is a joyous and significant experience, especially if it allows you to join family members who are already citizens. However, it is important to know what to expect from this process, as there are a lot of procedural boxes to check and numerous ways that you could encounter difficulty.
The Aurora naturalization process is generally much easier to navigate if you speak with an experienced citizenship lawyer. Having legal counsel by your side from the beginning of your application process could help make your dreams of citizenship a reality.
Who is Eligible for Naturalization?
Anyone born within the United States, on U.S.-owned territory, or to parents who are citizens is automatically considered naturalized. Anyone else who wants to become a citizen through naturalization must meet several qualifying criteria, the most important of which is at least five years of lawful and continuous U.S. residence through a green card.
Other crucial factors that determine eligibility include:
- Being at least 18 years old
- Possessing a good moral character
- Knowing the basics of U.S. civics, history, and government
- Having basic English reading, writing, and speaking skills
- Being physically present in the U.S. for at least 30 months out of 60 prior to applying
- Residing in one town for at least three months before applying
- Proving dedication to the U.S. Constitution and its ideals
A well-practiced attorney in Aurora could explain these prerequisites in more detail and help you determine whether you are eligible to begin the naturalization process.
Submitting the Right Forms and Documents
The first crucial step in the local naturalization process is completing Form N-400. Once an applicant fills this form out, he or she should submit it to USCIS along with the required filing fee, a copy of both sides of his or her permanent resident card, two copies of a color photo self-portrait, and whatever remaining documents USCIS deems necessary to prove he or she qualifies for naturalized citizenship.
Depending on the circumstances, this remaining documentation could include marriage or divorce decrees indicating a legal name change, rent or mortgage payment records, support orders issued by a government authority, and records related to criminal arrests.
This stage of the naturalization process can be a lot to handle, but a diligent lawyer in Aurora could help you identify what you need, collect the relevant papers, and submit them in a timely manner.
What Are the Remaining Naturalization Steps?
Once USCIS receives an applicant’s Form N-400, the agency might require the immigrant to appear for biometrics screening at a particular location, date, and time. If the agency requests biometrics testing, the potential immigrant must comply.
Regardless of whether biometrics screening is necessary, all naturalization applicants must complete an interview at the nearest USCIS office. This interview will generally include questions about an applicant’s background and submitted documentation. It also usually features both an English language and U.S. civics test.
A resourceful attorney in Aurora could help you prepare for a USCIS interview when you reach this stage in the citizenship naturalization process.
Final Stages to Overcome
Based on the paper application and the results of the interview process, USCIS will grant, “continue,” or deny an immigrant’s petition. The “continue” response refers to when an applicant needs to submit additional evidence or repeat the English or civics test. When an application is approved, all that is left to do is complete the Form N-445 questionnaire provided, take the Oath of Allegiance, send back the green card, and receive a Certificate of Naturalization.
Contact an Attorney about the Aurora Naturalization Process
Becoming naturalized is a complex procedure that requires extended dedication and careful attention to detail. It can be problematic to handle without the assistance of a skilled attorney. Fortunately, a dedicated lawyer could fully explain the Aurora naturalization process, to help you understand what roadblocks you might need to overcome along the way. Reach out to the office today to schedule an initial appointment.