Representing Clients on the Path to Citizenship Nationwide
If an individual was not born a U.S. citizen, or did not obtain citizenship instantly after birth, he or she may become a U.S. citizen through the process of naturalization. Among the many rights that an individual receives upon becoming a U.S. citizen, he or she is permitted to hold a U.S. passport, serve on a jury, and register and vote. If you are interested in commencing the naturalization process, get in touch with a Tampa immigration attorney for assistance.
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Understanding the U.S. Naturalization Process
In order to be eligible for naturalization, some basic requirements must be met: an individual must have the ability to speak, read and write in English, have knowledge and a fundamental understanding of U.S. government and history, have an attachment to the U.S. Constitution’s values, feel favorably toward the U.S., be a continued physical presence or resident in the country for a determined period, and have a good moral character. When applying to become a naturalized citizen, the process can take up to six months before it is completed. It is important to have every affair in order before the process begins, such as having fingerprints taken, having current photos, submitting a naturalization application, taking the Oath of Allegiance, and being interviewed.
The most important component to the naturalization process is absolute honesty, even if you have been convicted of a crime (whether it has been lawfully expunged or not). If the USCIS discovers that past criminal records have been either concealed or falsified, there is a strong chance that your application will be denied.
If your naturalization application is denied, there is hope. You may appeal for an administrative review, which grants your application another chance consisting of a hearing with an immigration officer. If all goes well, you may be eligible to apply at a later date.
How Long Does It Take to Become a U.S. Citizen?
The naturalization process involves many steps and often takes a significant amount of time. As of early 2020, the average wait time for naturalization application processing was just over 8 months. Note that this is just the application processing time; the whole naturalization process will take considerably longer than this.
Below, we’ve provided a general breakdown of the U.S. naturalization process, including the average amount of time each step takes:
- Application for Naturalization (Form N-400) processing: about 8 months
- Attending the biometrics appointment: 1 day (no additional wait time)
- Attending the citizenship interview and taking the exam: about 4 months
- Receiving the decision on your naturalization application: up to 4 months
- Taking the Oath of Allegiance: up to 1½ months
In total, the naturalization process from initial application to receiving your Certificate of Naturalization can take anywhere from 1 to 1½ years. However, note that this only represents the average amount of time it takes to go through the naturalization process; this timeline could vary and be much shorter or much longer than the averages noted above.
Becoming naturalized is a process worth putting forth time and effort, although it can be a timely and arduous process. Here at Maney | Gordon | Zeller, P.A., we dutifully commit ourselves to immigration law and the evaluation of your personal situation. Our firm has six offices in five cities, and is available for excellent service and highly moral representation.
Do you need information on the naturalization process? Contact a Tampa naturalization attorney today for qualified help.
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