Philadelphia Naturalization Attorneys
Ready to Help Foreign Nationals Become U.S. Citizens in Philadelphia, PA
Naturalization is the legal process by which foreign-born individuals can become U.S. citizens. If you are a lawful permanent resident (green card holder) and meet certain eligibility requirements, you may apply for naturalization to obtain full citizenship rights and privileges, including the right to vote and hold public office. However, the process involves navigating various legal requirements and preparing detailed documentation, which can be quite challenging without professional assistance.
At Maney | Gordon | Zeller, P.A., our experienced team of immigration lawyers is here to guide and support you every step of the way. We understand that the journey to citizenship can be complex and overwhelming, but with our expertise and dedication, we will make the process as smooth as possible for you.
What is Naturalization?
As we mentioned earlier, the main path to U.S. citizenship for most immigrants is through naturalization. It allows individuals who have been granted lawful permanent resident (LPR) status, commonly known as having a green card, to become full-fledged citizens with all the rights and privileges that come with it.
Who is Eligible for Naturalization?
To become a naturalized citizen of the United States, you must meet the following eligibility requirements and undergo the naturalization process:
The process of naturalization involves several steps:
- Eligibility: The applicant must meet certain eligibility requirements, such as being at least 18 years old, having held a green card for a specific period (usually five years, or three years if married to a U.S. citizen), and meeting continuous residence and physical presence requirements.
- Application: The applicant needs to file Form N-400, the Application for Naturalization, with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This form includes personal information, details about the applicant's immigration history, and other relevant data.
- Biometrics Appointment: After submitting the application, the applicant is usually required to attend a biometrics appointment, where their fingerprints, photograph, and signature are taken for background checks.
- Interview: USCIS schedules an interview for the applicant at a local USCIS office. During the interview, the applicant is asked questions about their application, background, and other details to verify eligibility.
- English and Civics Tests: As part of the interview, the applicant is tested on their English language proficiency and knowledge of U.S. civics and history. There are certain exemptions and accommodations based on age and disabilities.
- Oath of Allegiance: If the naturalization application is approved, the final step is taking the Oath of Allegiance to the United States. By taking this oath, the applicant swears loyalty to the U.S. and renounces any previous allegiances to other countries.
- Certificate of Naturalization: After taking the Oath of Allegiance, the applicant receives a Certificate of Naturalization, officially becoming a U.S. citizen.
The Benefits of Becoming a Citizen of the United States
Becoming a U.S. citizen through naturalization offers numerous benefits and opportunities that can significantly enhance an individual's life.
Here are some of the key advantages:
- Right to Vote: As a U.S. citizen, you gain the right to participate in the democratic process by voting in federal, state, and local elections. This gives you a say in choosing representatives and shaping government policies that affect your community and the nation as a whole.
- Protection with a U.S. Passport: U.S. citizens can obtain a U.S. passport, providing them with protection and assistance from the U.S. government while traveling abroad. The U.S. government can offer consular services and support in case of emergencies in foreign countries.
- Access to Government Jobs: Many government jobs and positions in federal agencies require U.S. citizenship. By naturalizing, you open up opportunities for potential employment and advancement in various government sectors.
- Family Reunification: U.S. citizens can sponsor certain family members for lawful permanent residency (Green Card), which can lead to quicker family reunification compared to being a Green Card holder (permanent resident).
- No Deportation Risk: As a U.S. citizen, you cannot be deported, provided that there were no fraudulent activities or misrepresentations in the naturalization process.
- Travel Flexibility: U.S. citizens can travel freely in and out of the United States without worrying about visa restrictions or time limitations that apply to Green Card holders.
- Eligibility for Federal Benefits: Naturalized citizens become eligible for various federal benefits, such as Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and other public assistance programs.
- Education Opportunities: U.S. citizenship can open doors to certain educational benefits, including eligibility for federal financial aid for higher education, scholarships, and grants.
- Civic Engagement: Citizenship fosters a sense of belonging and responsibility to the country, encouraging individuals to actively participate in civic activities and community initiatives.
- Broader Job Prospects: Some jobs and industries may prefer or require U.S. citizenship due to security clearances or government contracts, providing naturalized citizens with broader employment options.
- Protection from Deportation: As a U.S. citizen, you cannot be deported, except under extremely rare and exceptional circumstances (e.g., fraud in the naturalization process).
- Political Asylum for Family Members: U.S. citizens can petition for political asylum for their immediate relatives who are still living in their home country if they face persecution or danger.
Why Choose Maney | Gordon | Zeller, P.A. for Your Naturalization Needs?
At Maney | Gordon | Zeller, P.A., we take pride in helping individuals achieve their dreams of U.S. citizenship. Our team of skilled immigration lawyers is dedicated to providing you with top-notch legal representation and support throughout the naturalization process. Don't navigate the complexities of naturalization alone – let us be your trusted allies.
We Have Nine Offices Across the U.S. Dedicated to Your American Dream
We Are Licensed to Practice Law at the United States Supreme Court Level
We Are Licensed to Practice Law in Sixteen States & Four Countries
We Have Board-Certified* Immigration Specialists on Our Legal Team
We Have Served Hopeful Immigrants for Over 40 Consecutive Years
We Are Nationwide Authorities on the Law & Politics of Immigration
Our immigration lawyers are dedicated to excellence and are committed to going above and beyond for our clients to obtain the outcome that they deserve. Whether you are an employer or an individual, you will receive the legal assistance that you need in your pursuit of legal immigration into the U.S.