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Becoming a citizen of the United States is the ultimate goal for many foreign residents going through the immigration process. For most people, becoming a citizen involves a process known as naturalization.

The naturalization process can be challenging. Thankfully, a skilled immigration attorney could explain how it works and guide you through becoming a naturalized citizen. If you have questions about the citizenship process or your rights, a Cicero citizenship/naturalization lawyer is here to help. Our dedicated immigration attorneys could offer the knowledge and guidance you need to succeed.

What is Citizenship?

Citizenship is a legal immigration status that grants people important rights. While most people that live in the U.S. were born as citizens, foreign nationals living outside the U.S. can only obtain this status through the naturalization process. Becoming a citizen often involves being sponsored by family members already living in the country. There are numerous reasons why becoming a citizen is beneficial.

Right to Vote

Only citizens of the United States have the right to vote in federal elections. By becoming a citizen, a foreign national gains the right to have a say in how the government is run. Most states and many local governments also limit voting to citizens, so becoming naturalized helps immigrants voice their opinions in local elections.

Traveling with a Passport

Becoming a U.S. citizen also helps immigrants travel abroad, as naturalization entitles you to a passport. Having a U.S. passport offers people crucial support from the federal government when they are abroad.

Eligibility for Federal Jobs

Finally, obtaining citizenship also helps immigrants work in certain jobs. For instance, becoming naturalized could allow someone to work in a government job that requires a security clearance.

If you have further questions about the many benefits of citizenship, a knowledgeable lawyer in Cicero could elaborate during your consultation.

Understanding the Naturalization Process

For most people, naturalization is the final step in a long immigration journey. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) oversees the process of becoming a citizen. Before an immigrant can pursue naturalization, he or she must meet certain qualifications. Some of the most important requirements for naturalization include:

  • Being 18 or older
  • Knowing how to speak, read, and write English
  • Having resided continually in the U.S. for a certain period of time
  • Showing a basic understanding of U.S. civics
  • Demonstrating good moral character

Finally, one of the most important qualifications for citizenship is having the right immigration status. Not everyone has the opportunity to pursue naturalization, even when they meet the other requirements. Typically, an applicant must spend five years living in the U.S. as a lawful permanent resident before they qualify for citizenship.

Applying for Citizenship

Once the qualifications are met, it is time to apply. This is done using a document known as Form N-400. The Application for Naturalization includes important details about the applicant’s life and immigration status. A Cicero citizenship and naturalization attorney could help you prepare this form and the supporting documents that go with it.

Contact a Cicero Citizenship/Naturalization Attorney Right Away

The pursuit of citizenship is a lifelong dream for many people. However, it is crucial to understand that the process is not always easy.

A Cicero citizenship/naturalization lawyer can help you navigate the complexities of the immigration system. If you are ready to get started on your path to citizenship, reach out today for a confidential consultation.

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