If you are a Permanent Resident of the United States and wish to become a citizen through naturalization, it is in your best interests to hire an experienced citizenship lawyer. The citizenship process can be complicated and mistakes can cost you valuable time and money. The legal team at Katona & Associates, PLLC can help you pursue your goals of becoming a naturalized citizen in New York City and the surrounding area.
A Citizenship Lawyer Can Accompany You to Your Interview
It is never a good idea to submit your citizenship application or attend your interview without the help of a citizenship lawyer. Even the most well-prepared citizenship applicant can become nervous during their interview and make unnecessarily evasive or dishonest answers to questions about their residency, physical presence and moral character. A citizenship lawyer can accompany you to your interview, ensure that the USCIS officer stays within the scope of appropriate questions, and advocate on your behalf in order to set you up for a successful citizenship application.
In addition to guiding clients through the naturalization process, a citizenship lawyer can also address any issues that may arise concerning visa or immigration law. For example, a criminal conviction can interfere with your visa or citizenship status. A citizenship lawyer can advise you about routes available to solve such problems and can ensure that your immigration status does not end up being in jeopardy due to a criminal charge.
The initial requirement to apply for citizenship is that you must be a Permanent Resident (Green Card holder). In order to become a citizen through naturalization, you must have been a Green Card holder for a specific period of time, usually five years. You must also pass a naturalization test, have a basic understanding of the English language and U.S. history, and prove that you are a person of good moral character.
A citizenship attorney can assist you in proving that you meet all of the requirements. They can also inform you about exceptions to the requirements, which can often be helpful in avoiding costly mistakes. For instance, some people think that they can avoid the moral character requirement by obtaining a pardon or clearing up old criminal charges. This is not necessarily the case, and a citizenship lawyer can help you determine whether your particular situation warrants an exception to this rule.
It is also important to consult with a citizenship lawyer prior to filing your application in order to ensure that you do not have any outstanding arrest warrants. We have had numerous clients who were unaware that they had outstanding warrants when they submitted their application, which could ultimately result in a denial of the application and a delay or outright failure of the process. In most cases, it is possible to clear up any outstanding warrants in advance of the citizenship interview. Our office is able to assist in such situations through our partnership with Military OneSource.