The path to citizenship is a life-changing option for people who immigrate into the United States, but it is also complicated. Not everyone who comes here is eligible for citizenship, also known as naturalization, and those who do qualify must submit substantial documentation and pass a few different tests before the possibility of becoming a naturalized citizen.

Fortunately, assistance is available from a dedicated naturalization attorney who has helped other people fulfill citizenship dreams. Throughout every stage of the Wheaton naturalization process, your legal counsel could offer guidance, protect your rights, and help you understand your different obligations.

Preparing and Submitting the Form N-400

Individuals who are eligible to apply for naturalization and are not already citizens through being born here must begin the legal process by filling out Form N-400. U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) allows an applicant to complete this part of the process entirely online if he or she wishes to do so, or he or she can submit his or her completed document by mail or in person at a USCIS field office.

Alongside with the N-400, an applicant for naturalized citizenship must also submit a photocopy of both sides of his or her Permanent Resident Card and a money order or check for relevant fees that he or she has not already paid with a credit card. USCIS will notify the applicant after receiving all the necessary, documents, paperwork, and fees.

Depending on an applicant’s life and circumstances, he or she might need to submit additional paperwork or documents. For instance, an individual applying for naturalization through their marriage to a current U.S. citizen must submit a copy of the relevant marriage certificate, documentation showing that his or her spouse has been a citizen for at least three years prior, proof showing that all previous marriages have been legally terminated if applicable, and papers that refer to both involved parties as legal spouses like IRS-certified tax forms and/or leases.

Figuring out which forms and documents are necessary can be confusing, but a seasoned attorney in Wheaton could assess your situation to help you gather the evidence necessary to complete the naturalization process.

Attending Appointments and Interviews

After submitting their N-400 paperwork, someone applying for naturalization usually must complete biometrics screening before his or her petition can move forward. If applicable, USCIS will notify an applicant of when and where he or she should attend their biometrics services appointment.

Once all preliminary steps are complete, USCIS will send a qualifying applicant a notice about the date, time, and location for his or her naturalization testing and interview. Unless an applicant is specifically exempt, this meeting will include both an English test and a civics test, during which the applicant must demonstrate basic proficiency in speaking, reading, and writing English, and foundational knowledgeable about United States history and government. A knowledgeable lawyer in Wheaton could provide irreplaceable assistance when it comes to preparing for this interview and fulfilling any other key parts of the naturalization process.

The Final Stages of the Naturalization Process

If a naturalization applicant meets all relevant criteria and completes his or her interview without issue, USCIS might approve their Form N-400 on the same day as their interview. If this does not happen, USCIS should notify the applicant soon in the future about whether his or her application has been granted, “continued,” or denied. When a petition is continued, the immigrant usually needs to provide additional documentation or retake one of the exams. If USCIS denies an application, it is usually because the potential citizen is ineligible.

If USCIS approves a foreign national’s application, the naturalization process is not complete until the applicant completes a few final steps. For example, he or she usually needs to appear for a Naturalization Oath Ceremony, turns in his or her Green Card, take the Oath of Allegiance, and receive a Certificate of Naturalization. After this, the applicant is officially a U.S. citizen and will remain so for life unless he or she voluntarily renounces his or her status at a later date.

These final steps are some of the most important in the naturalization process and a dedicated attorney in Wheaton could help you carefully navigate them.

Call an Attorney about the Naturalization Process in Wheaton

Determining whether you are eligible to apply for citizenship can be rather confusing, and the process differs depending on your situation. Attempting to navigate the naturalization process in Wheaton can be nearly impossible without the assistance of a hardworking lawyer. If you need help pursuing your citizenship dreams, you should reach out to our firm today to get started. Call the office to schedule a consultation and begin moving forward with your future plans.

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