Citizenship Lawyer in Omaha
Becoming a Naturalized U.S. Citizen
Becoming a citizen of the United States is an exciting achievement for many immigrants wishing to live, work, and build lives in the U.S. However, the process of becoming a naturalized citizen can be incredibly time-consuming and complex. There are many steps you must complete and any errors along the way could result in significant setbacks.
At Carlson & Blakeman, LLP, our Omaha-based citizenship attorneys are here to provide the support and guidance you need. Led by founding attorney Julia A. Cryne, our immigration law team can represent you through the various stages of naturalization. We also assist clients seeking citizenship for their children and other family members in unique and complex circumstances. Our attorneys have extensive experience and an in-depth understanding of U.S. immigration law; we are here to answer your questions and provide the assistance you need to achieve your goals.
What Is Naturalization?
Naturalization is the process of granting legal U.S. citizenship to lawful permanent residents and other immigrants residing in the U.S. While there are other methods of becoming a citizen, such as acquisition and derivation, naturalization is the most common for immigrants wishing to obtain legal citizenship status.
To become a naturalized citizen, you must meet certain eligibility requirements, and there are many steps involved in the process. It is important that you work with an attorney who can help you understand your rights and ensure that you do not make any mistakes that could jeopardize your goal of becoming a naturalized citizen.
Who Is Eligible to Become a Naturalized U.S. Citizen?
To be eligible for U.S. citizenship through the naturalization process, you must meet at least one of the following requirements:
- Be a lawful permanent resident of at least five years
- Be a lawful permanent resident married to a U.S. citizen for at least three years
- Have been a service member of the U.S. military
If you are the child of a U.S. citizen, you may apply for citizenship through acquisition. In all other cases, eligible individuals must also be at least 18 years of age and must meet certain other eligibility requirements depending on the specific details of your situation.
If you are a lawful permanent resident seeking U.S. citizenship through the naturalization process, you must be at least 18 years old and you must have:
- Have been a lawful permanent resident for at least five years
- Have maintained continuous residence in the U.S. for at least the last five years
- Have been physically in the U.S. for at least 30 months out of those five years
You will also need to prove that you:
- Are a person of “good moral character” and have been for at least five years immediately preceding your application for naturalization, meaning you cannot have serious criminal convictions or convictions that demonstrate a risk to the community.
- Can read, write, and speak English
- Have a basic understanding of U.S. history and government
- Are aligned with the ideas and principles outlined in the U.S. Constitution
Lastly, you will need to take an Oath of Allegiance to the United States to complete the naturalization process.
The specific requirements vary for individuals seeking naturalized citizenship in different circumstances. Our Omaha citizenship attorneys at Carlson & Blakeman, LLP can help you understand the eligibility requirements based on your unique circumstances.
Contact our attorneys today to learn more about how we can help you!
What Steps are Involved in the Process of Naturalization?
The naturalization process can be both time-consuming and complicated. The exact specifics of your situation—such as your status as an immigrant in the U.S., whether you are married to or the child of a U.S. citizen, and other relevant factors—will play a role in how the process works. However, there are certain general steps nearly everyone must take to become a naturalized citizen of the United States.
Below, we have provided a brief overview of the U.S. naturalization process:
- Determine if you are eligible to become a citizen of the United States
- Prepare and submit the Application for Naturalization (Form N-400)
- Pay applicable fees when submitting Form N-400
- If necessary, attend a biometrics appointment to provide your fingerprint, photo, and signature
- Attend your interview with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
Following the interview, you will receive notice from USCIS either granting citizenship, continuing your application, or denying you application. If your application is denied, our attorneys can help you request a hearing to appeal the decision. If USCIS continues your application, we can assist you in gathering additional requested information.
If your application is accepted, you will receive notice to take the Oath of Allegiance to the United States, otherwise known as your naturalization ceremony. Once you have completed this, you will turn in your green card and receive a Certificate of Naturalization designating you a lawful U.S. citizen.
Do You Need a Lawyer to Become a Citizen?
You are not required by law to hire an attorney in order to complete the naturalization process or become a U.S. citizen. However, there are many advantages to working with an experienced and knowledgeable lawyer.
Naturalization is a complex legal process with numerous steps involved. You will need to properly fill out and submit extensive paperwork and provide requested documents. You will also need to prepare for and attend at least one interview, as well as potential additional hearings. Any errors you make during this process could ultimately prevent you from successfully completing the naturalization process and becoming a U.S. citizen.
When you work with an attorney, like ours at Carlson & Blakeman, LLP, you get the distinct advantage that can only come with experience. Our Omaha citizenship attorneys not only understand the laws and processes involved in naturalization, but they have also successfully helped numerous individuals successfully navigate the system and achieve their goals. Throughout the process, we will be there to provide personalized legal guidance tailored to your specific situation, as well as advocate for you in any legal or administrative proceedings. If you encounter any issues with your application, we can represent you and your rights.
Request a Consultation with Our Immigration Attorneys
Our firm offers complimentary consultations and case evaluations. We are one of the few law firms in the entire Omaha area to provide legal services in both English and Spanish and are happy to meet with you to discuss your path to citizenship. We are committed to treating every single one of our clients like family and are ready to offer you the caring, supportive, and attentive legal representation you deserve.