The process of obtaining U.S. citizenship for a foreign national is known as naturalization. To be eligible for naturalization, first and foremost, the individual should be a green holder or permanent resident for a minimum of 5 years in general, barring exceptions. The time period can be different for some specific cases. The process can be difficult to navigate. Bhuchar Law Firm has been assisting individuals seeking U.S. citizenship for many years. Hiring legal expertise in such cases can be beneficial to the applicants and is therefore highly recommended.
To be able to apply for naturalization, the individuals are expected to meet specific criteria. The eligibility requirements are as follows:
- Be 18 or older at the time of filing.
- Be a Green Card holder for at least five years immediately preceding the date of filing.
- Have lived within the state, or USCIS district with jurisdiction over the applicant’s place of residence, for at least 3 months prior to the date of filing the application.
- Have continuous residence in the United States as a Green Card holder for at least 5 years or three years if married to a U.S. Citizen.
- Be physically present in the United States for at least 30 months out of the 5 years immediately preceding the date of filing the application.
- Reside continuously within the United States from the date of application for naturalization up to the time of naturalization.
- Be able to read, write, and speak English and have the knowledge and an understanding of U.S. history and government.
- Be a person of good moral character, attached to the principles of the Constitution of the United States, and well-disposed to the good order and happiness of the United States during all relevant periods under the law.
As there are some exceptions to these rules, you should consult with your lawyer to assess your situation and eligibility for the process.
If you are eligible for naturalization, you are required to file Form N-400, Application for Naturalization with the USCIS. You will be called to give your biometrics. An interview will be scheduled with you by the USCIS to complete the process. An English and civics test will also be conducted during the interview as a part of the naturalization process. Once the process is completed, the USCIS will inform you of their decision soon. If they grant you naturalization, you will receive a notice about your oath of allegiance. Taking the Oath of Allegiance is necessary to obtain your U.S. citizenship. If your application is denied, you can request a hearing with an immigration officer. You can also reapply for naturalization if denied.
Individuals that are granted U.S. citizenship can:
- Vote in federal elections.
- Travel with a U.S. passport.
- Run for elective office where citizenship is required.
- Participate on a jury.
- Become eligible for federal and certain law enforcement jobs.
- Obtain certain state and federal benefits not available to non-citizens.
- Obtain citizenship for minor children born abroad.
- Expand and expedite their ability to bring family members to the United States.
Naturalization is not the only way to obtain U.S. citizenship. There are different rules applicable for permanent residents who marry U.S. citizens, permanent residents in the military and their family members, and children whose parents are U.S. citizens. If any of the above conditions apply to you, you should consult an immigration lawyer about your options.
The process of naturalization can be hard to follow. You are expected to comply with rules and regulations, some of which have exceptions to them. At Bhuchar Law Firm, our New Jersey immigration attorneys are well-versed with the laws of immigration. We have assisted many clients over the years to obtain their citizenship through naturalization. We can help you understand the process and your obligations as an applicant. You can trust us to guide you through each step and correctly file your forms and applications. If you are considering applying for naturalization, kindly contact our attorneys at Bhuchar Law Firm. We will assess your case, explore all options, and answer any question you might have.