Naturalization & Citizenship
Serving the Immigration Law Needs of Santa Barbara
If you are a lawful permanent resident in the United States, you are entitled to live and work in the United States indefinitely. There are some advantages that come from the process of naturalization, which is the process a lawful permanent resident must undergo to gain citizenship. These advantages include:
- The right to vote in local, state, and national elections
- Expedited processing of residency requests for family members
- Exemption from deportation if you are convicted of a crime
Eligibility for Naturalization
Before you apply for naturalization, you must determine if you are eligible to become a citizen. Your requirements for citizenship may vary, depending on your circumstances. A skilled immigration attorney can help you determine what your requirements are specifically. General requirements include:
- You must be 18 years old at the time you file Form N-400, Application for Naturalization
- You must have lived in the USCIS district you are applying in for at least 3 months
- You must have resided in the U.S. for 5 years prior to filing for naturalization
- You must prove you have been physically present in the U.S. for 40 months out of the 5 years of residency
- You must be a permanent resident for at least 5 years
- You must demonstrate a basic understanding of U.S. history and government
- You must be able to read, write, and speak basic English
- You must demonstrate a loyalty to the principles and ideals of the U.S. Constitution
If you meet all of these requirements, you are most likely eligible for naturalization.
The Process of Naturalization
Once you have determined your eligibility, you can begin the process of applying for naturalization. You will begin by completing and submitting Form N-400. You will likely need to have digital fingerprints taken. After your application has been accepted, you will go to an interview with the USCIS. At this interview, you will also complete the naturalization test, which includes sections testing your ability to read, write, and speak basic English and your knowledge of U.S. history and government.
After you have completed your interview and test, you will hear back from the USCIS regarding the decision of your naturalization. If you have been accepted to become a citizen, you will be required to take the Oath of Allegiance. You will then officially be recognized as a citizen of the United States.
Get Legal Help
The process of naturalization can be difficult, and you may find you need assistance. A knowledgeable immigration attorney will be able to help you complete the process. Appel & Morse offers the experienced legal advocacy you need to gain your citizenship. Our team of Santa Barbara immigration attorneys has over 40 years of experience in immigration-related issues, and have the skills to handle your case.
Contact Appel & Morse today to learn how we can help you. We offer $250 immigration consultations and can provide a written opinion for an additional $500.