After living in this country as a permanent resident, many people want to enjoy the full benefits of U.S. citizenship. This is a wonderful goal, but before you can attend the ceremony to take the Oath of Allegiance, you must successfully get through a long, detailed process. At Joseph T. Rhodes Law Firm, we are dedicated to residents of Georgia and other places who wish to live their American dream. As an experienced Augusta naturalization attorney, Mr. Rhodes can help you with the paperwork and other requirements needed to become a U.S. citizen.
Lawful permanent residents, sometimes referred to as green card holders, typically are eligible to pursue citizenship through naturalization after having lived continuously in this country for five years. This timeframe can be shortened to three years for people who have been married to a U.S. citizen for at least three years. Attorney Joseph T. Rhodes has more than a decade of experience handling all types of immigration issues for clients, including guidance on naturalization and visas. You can rely on our firm for knowledgeable counsel regarding your eligibility to become a U.S. citizen. If you qualify, we deliver strong legal support from the filing of the N-400 form and supporting documents up through the ceremony where you take your oath of U.S. citizenship.
Part of the citizenship process is learning about this country’s history and government. Applicants for naturalization receive 100 civics questions to study, 10 of which will be asked orally at the interview. With six correct answers, you will pass this test.
When you go to the naturalization interview, you must bring your green card, identification and documents reflecting any travel outside the United States since becoming a lawful permanent resident. Along with the civics questions, you will be asked about your background and tested on your ability to read, write and speak English. Generally, the interview takes less than a half-hour and you will receive your result at the end.
An application for naturalization could be delayed or rejected due to a criminal record either here or in your home country. Many people are able to overcome infractions which do not amount to a crime of moral turpitude in the reviewer’s eyes. Another frequent cause of denials is the lack of the necessary continuous physical presence in the United States. As an experienced immigration attorney, Joseph T. Rhodes can assess if something in your background might prevent you from becoming a citizen before you apply.
One way to accelerate the citizenship process is to serve honorably in a branch of the U.S. armed forces for at least one year. If you have requisite military experience, we can guide you on the completion of Form N-426, which requests certification of your service records in support of your naturalization status.
It is permissible to be naturalized in the United States while maintaining citizenship within your home country. Dual citizens owe allegiance to both nations and are bound to follow each country’s laws. However, you should thoughtfully consider the potential advantages and disadvantages of dual citizenship before deciding how to proceed. For example, if you retain citizenship in your home country and have a problem there, you might not be able to obtain assistance from the American consulate in that nation like someone who solely maintains U.S. citizenship.
Joseph T. Rhodes Law Firm in Augusta represents immigrants living in Georgia and elsewhere who seek to become U.S. citizens through the naturalization process. For a free initial consultation, please call 706-496-1616 or contact us online.