deSeguin Immigration Law llc

NATURALIZATION

Naturalization is the process by which United States citizenship is granted to a foreign citizen.

For many  immigrants, United States citizenship is the desired goal.  Obtaining United States citizenship offers a permanence and security not afforded by a green card. However,  for some permanent residents,  the risk of applying for citizenship outweighs the benefits.  The consequences of applying for naturalization when you do not qualify can range from the loss of your filing fee  to, at worst,  finding yourself placed in deportation or removal proceedings.  Because the decision to apply for United States citizenship can have unexpected and unpleasant consequences when you are not eligible, you may want to consult with a knowledgeable immigration lawyer before submitting an application.  We can provide full legal representation and guide you through every step of the naturalization process or you can simply seek our assistance to advise you regarding your eligibility and  any potential adverse consequences of filing for US citizenship.

The application for naturalization is submitted on the form N-400.  After receiving your application, USCIS forwards you an appointment for biometrics.  At this time, study materials for your naturalization interview are being provided  when you appear for your biometrics appointment.  On its website, the USCIS also provides study materials for the naturalization civics exam and English proficiency. 

Some months after your biometrics appointment, you will receive an interview appointment.  At the interview, you will be tested regarding your knowledge of United States history and government.  The immigration officer conducting the interview will also be evaluating your command of the English language and will ask you to read and write a simple sentence in English.

Normally, to be eligible to apply for citizenship, you must have been living in the United States with permanent residence status for at least five years.  If you were married to a United States citizen, this time may be reduced to three years.   In addition to having  residence in the United States, there are also separate physical presence requirements.

USCIS will consider your full immigration history, the amount of time you have spent outside of the United States since becoming a permanent resident,  and any criminal history or criminal admissions in making its decision to grant or to deny your N-400 application.

USCIS could deny your application if  it determines that your permanent resident status was originally granted in error or due to fraud.  USCIS could deny your application for citizenship if it determines that you do not have the required good moral character, because you failed to filed a tax return, have a theft conviction,  used a marijuana product, etc. 

For immigrants living in Colorado or other States with legalized marijuana or medical marijuana laws, you need to be aware that, under  federal laws, marijuana and cannabis products (including medical marijuana) remain illegal.  Its use by immigrants continues to have adverse immigration consequences, including denial of citizenship and, sometimes, deportation or removal from the United States.

Keep your eyes on the stars and your feet on the ground.

_Theodore Roosevelt

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