When you are an immigrant or foreign national and hope to become a citizen of the U.S., you may need to meet strict requirements. The citizenship and naturalization process can be complex. Get help understanding what is expected of you and preparing your application for success.
Contact an experienced Augusta naturalization and citizenship lawyer at Barrios & Virguez today. Schedule your free consultation to learn more about how you can get your application for naturalization approved or handle the aftermath of a denial.
What Are Naturalization and Citizenship?
When you are hoping to become a citizen of the United States, naturalization and citizenship can be a complex process. To become a U.S. citizen, you will need to meet specific requirements.
If you have already filed your application for U.S. citizenship and your application has been denied, you may be interested in learning more about the reasons why and how you can go about appealing your denial or fixing issues with your application.
Do not put your ability to become a naturalized citizen at risk. Make sure you have a highly experienced naturalization and citizenship attorney in Augusta on your side as you navigate these often-confusing immigration matters.
For a free legal consultation with a naturalization and citizenship lawyer serving Augusta, call 678-888-2222
Criteria for Citizenship and Naturalization
To be eligible for naturalization or citizenship, there are certain requirements that you will need to meet. Some of these specific criteria could include:
- Having served in the United States Armed Forces
- Holding lawful permanent resident status for a minimum of nearly 5 years
- Being married to and living with a U.S. citizen, while holding lawful permanent resident status for a minimum of nearly 3 years
- Physical presence within the United States
- Understanding and knowledge of United States government in history
- Being of good moral character
- Being able to speak, read, and write in English
- Having a willingness to take a pledge of allegiance to the United States
- Agreeing to support the U.S. Constitution
Are you unsure whether you will meet the eligibility requirements needed to become a U.S. citizen? Reaching out to your immigration attorney for help can give you the clarity you were looking for. If you are unsure which changes you need to make in order to meet the eligibility requirements, your attorney can provide you with further information.
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How Will Your Children Be Affected if You Are Naturalized?
If you become a naturalized U.S. citizen, your family and children could be affected. Naturalized U.S. citizens who have children can change their children’s lives forever. These children may be eligible for automatic, derivative citizenship.
However, the following requirements will need to be met for your child to become a U.S. citizen:
- They must be under the age of 18 when they were naturalized
- They must reside in the United States as a lawful permanent resident
- They must reside in the United States as a lawful permanent resident and be in your physical and legal custody
If these requirements are met, your child may be able to apply to become a naturalized U.S. citizen. You can learn more about what steps you need to take to get your child U.S. citizenship when you meet with your attorney to discuss the specific circumstances of your case.
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What to Do if Your Application for Naturalization Is Denied
It is more common than you might think for naturalization and citizenship applications to be denied. When you have submitted your form N-400, the Application for Naturalization, and your application has been denied, it may feel as though the world is ending. However, by making some simple adjustments, you may be able to get your application approved.
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is required to provide their grounds for denying your application. If their decision to deny your application is legally incorrect, you may have the opportunity to appeal their decision within 30 days. Your attorney can help you complete and submit form N-336 if this is the case for you.
If Your Case Goes to a Hearing
Here, you will have the opportunity to request a Hearing on a Decision in Naturalization Proceedings. Here, you will have an interview with an immigration officer and have the opportunity to provide additional supporting evidence to show that your application should have been approved by USCIS officials.
If the immigration officer comes down on the side of the USCIS, you may need to move forward with a formal appeal with a U.S. District Court judge. In some instances, you may need to restart the naturalization and citizenship application process again by filing a new N-400 form. This is particularly true in cases where you may have failed to meet the necessary residency requirements or need additional time to brush up on your knowledge of the United States history and government.
Common Reasons for Application Denials
Many foreign nationals are shocked when their application for naturalization or citizenship has been denied. However, USCIS has the ability to deny your application for a number of reasons. Some of the more common reasons for N-400 applications to be denied include:
- Having a criminal history – If you have previously been convicted of or charged with certain types of criminal offenses, you may be barred from US citizenship or naturalization. However, if you were convicted of another type of crime, you may be required to wait a maximum of five years before you can reapply for citizenship.
- Failure to meet residency requirements – If you have failed to maintain lawful permanent resident status or have traveled outside of the United States without obtaining the necessary documentation after having filed your application for naturalization, it could put your application at risk of rejection or denial.
- Failing government history or English test requirements – If you do not pass your United States history, government, or English test, you may be denied your application for naturalization. When filing an N-400, you should be given two opportunities to pass your test before being denied.
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Contact a Naturalization and Citizenship Lawyer in Augusta for Help Today
If you are considering applying for naturalization, having a dedicated Augusta naturalization and citizenship attorney at Barrios & Virguez on your side could make all the difference in the outcome of your case. If you hope to ensure that your application is completed accurately and entirely, a legal advocate could help.
Schedule your confidential consultation today to find out what your next steps should be. You can reach us through our secure contact form or by phone to get started.
Call or text 678-888-2222 or complete a Free Case Evaluation form