While everyone with Legal Permanent Resident status in the United States has the right to hold a job and petition for immediate family members to join them in this country, U.S. citizenship allows for many additional privileges for individuals who qualify for it. Once someone becomes a U.S. citizen, they are allowed to vote in local and federal elections, acquire a U.S. passport, serve on a jury, and hold numerous positions in local or federal government.

If you would like to become a naturalized citizen, our immigration attorneys at Hacking Immigration Law, LLC could help. Assistance from a Washington, DC citizenship and naturalization lawyer could be crucial to boosting your chances of success. There are several requirements you must meet before you can apply for naturalization, and our team’s guidance could help prove your qualifications.

Prerequisites for Becoming a Naturalized Citizen

To apply for naturalization, an applicant must be 18 years old or older, have been a lawful permanent resident for at least five years, have resided in their current state or territory for at least three months, have at least basic proficiency in written and spoken English, understand fundamental elements of U.S. history and government, and have “good moral character. It is important to note that there are exceptions to some of these requirements in certain circumstances.

For example, a lawful permanent resident who is married to and lives full-time with a U.S. citizen may apply for naturalized citizenship once they have been married to their spouse for three years, regardless of whether they have had LPR status for five years. Additionally, U.S. military service members may be eligible to apply for naturalization after one year of honorable service during war or peacetime.

There are also exceptions to the English and civics requirements if an applicant has a disability that prevents them from fulfilling these requirements. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services provides a worksheet for individuals trying to determine whether they are eligible for citizenship, and a Washington DC naturalization attorney could also answer questions on their eligibility during a private consultation.

Steps in the Naturalization Process

Eligible applicants for naturalization can begin the application process by submitting Form N-400 along with relevant identifying documentation and fees to USCIS. After finishing initial processing steps, USCIS will notify an applicant of a date and time for their naturalization interview, and potentially an appointment for biometrics screening as well.

Based on all of the submitted information and the results from the screening and interview processes, USCIS will notify an applicant through the mail and/or online that their petition has been “Granted,” “Continued” for lack of sufficient documentation or due to a failed civics or English test, or “Denied” based on ineligibility for citizenship. Approved applicants officially become U.S. citizens once they attend a naturalization ceremony and take their Oath of Allegiance. A lawyer in Washington, DC could help someone through the citizenship application process by compiling all the necessary documents and preparing them for the naturalization interview.

Talk to a Washington DC Citizenship and Naturalization Attorney Today

Becoming a naturalized U.S. citizen is a monumental achievement that could dramatically alter the course of your life. Unfortunately, the process of applying for naturalization can be complex, especially if it has been a while since you dealt with USCIS.

Support from a Washington DC citizenship and naturalization lawyer could give you the best chances possible of a favorable outcome. Call today to learn more.