For some, U.S. citizenship is an afterthought. By right of their birth in the United States, they are citizens and entitled to the standard rights and privileges that come along with being an American citizen as spelled out in the Constitution. However, for people who were not born in the United States and immigrated to this country from another jurisdiction, citizenship is not so automatic.
Many foreign-born individuals must first go through the naturalization process to attain full citizenship, and this process is often fraught with difficulties, especially since it is a multi-step process and applicants may not be aware of their full rights. Given this, a good idea for individuals looking to become citizens is to hire a naturalization lawyer who can aid them through their applications. The following are four hurdles in the naturalization process that
Naturalization lawyers can help their clients overcome:
1. Review prior to formal application – Among the things naturalization officials will be looking for in a potential applicant is good moral character. In terms of logistics, this is tantamount to a check on the person’s immigration history,
2. Background check – As with many applications for membership, application for U.S. citizenship involves fingerprinting/a biometrics exam and a background check. After one completes their N-400 form with their hired naturalization lawyer, the next stop on the path to naturalization is review of the client’s identifying information by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Once more, a fee is involved, of which naturalization lawyers should inform their clients. The applicant’s naturalization lawyer should also be up front about how precisely this information is being used by government officials, especially if the client is unfamiliar with law proceedings and apprehensive about being fingerprinted.
3. Citizenship tests – Naturalization lawyers often will provide their most important service by accompanying their clients to the in-person tests that await them. These include a written exam in English and American Civics, a citizenship interview with an immigration official, and a citizenship oath by which the applicant pledges allegiance to the United States of America. Of course, naturalization lawyers should point out information services and review sessions prior to the exam. In addition, a naturalization lawyer may be present during the interview to address any further questions about his or her client’s eligibility.
Obviously, naturalization lawyers are offering their services for a fee, which, along with those sums required for submission of the N-400 form and fingerprints may seem like a lot to a person seeking looking to be naturalized. Even so, the risk of not signing up with a naturalization lawyer could be substantially worse; the unsure, uninformed applicant could wind up with a revoked green card or face deportation if they try to apply for documents that require proof of citizenship. If looking to become a citizen, play it safe and enlist the help of a trustworthy naturalization lawyer. Their fee is worth the anxiety that will be saved.