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The naturalization process to become a citizen of the United States was once a straightforward procedure with minimal uncertainty and few delays. Unfortunately, that is no longer the case.

Even the best-qualified applicants may wait a considerable time for a result, and the results are not always what they should be. Assistance from a dedicated Bolingbrook citizenship/naturalization lawyer could help you avoid potential pitfalls and ensure that the process goes as smoothly as possible. An immigration attorney could assist right from the start or help if you encounter a problem or delay in the naturalization process.

How Important Is the Naturalization Test?

Many applicants seeking citizenship worry about passing the naturalization test administered by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. However, it is important to realize that the entire naturalization process is a test of sorts.

Content of the Citizenship Exam

Applicants need to demonstrate some basic familiarity with the English language when asked questions. They must also demonstrate good character and other essential qualities. A Bolingbrook attorney could help ensure that a citizenship applicant is able to display their qualifications clearly, both in written and oral presentations.

The official naturalization test evaluates knowledge of civics and the ability to read, write, and speak English. Out of a potential list of 100 questions, applicants are asked ten civics questions and must answer six correctly. Applicants must also read sentences aloud and write out sentences. The applicant’s ability to speak English is evaluated during the course of the interview with a USCIS officer. Certain applicants may apply for an exemption from these requirements.

Qualifying for Naturalization

To achieve success through the naturalization process and obtain citizenship, applicants must show that they meet the eligibility requirements. For most applicants, these include:

  • Age of 18 or older
  • Holder of a green card for at least five years (or three years for the spouse of a citizen)
  • Residency requirements (U.S. and local)
  • Ability to read, write, and speak English
  • Good character
  • Attachment to the principles of the U.S. Constitution

Some individuals, such as those who have served in the U.S. armed forces, may be eligible for citizenship with different qualifications. A Bolingbrook lawyer could review a naturalization applicant’s situation to determine whether special eligibility requirements apply.

How Could Someone Apply for Citizenship?

Individuals who meet the eligibility requirements may apply for citizenship by filing Form N-400, Application for Naturalization, along with requested supporting documents, photographs, filing fees. Once an applicant files for citizenship, they are expected to remain in the U.S. until naturalization is complete. A naturalization attorney in Bolingbrook can assist with the application, and advice about what to avoid while an application is pending.

USCIS usually schedules an appointment to collect biometric information such as fingerprints. The agency then schedules an interview during which the applicant will be tested. Due to backlogs in processing, it could take some time to obtain the results. If delays continue for an unreasonable period, the applicant may file a lawsuit compelling the agency to act on an application.

Contact a Bolingbrook Citizenship/Naturalization Attorney

It could be difficult to know sometimes whether a delay in the naturalization process is the result of a common backlog or caused by a problem such as missing information or a misplaced file. An experienced immigration attorney could investigate to ascertain the cause of a delay and determine whether legal action is advisable to speed the process.

Working with a dedicated Bolingbrook citizenship/naturalization lawyer could provide assurance and peace of mind during a challenging time in your life. To learn more about the assistance a legal advocate can deliver throughout the naturalization process, call for a confidential consultation today.

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