On your journey to becoming a naturalized citizen, having a Miami naturalization lawyer by your side is beneficial. Here is how we can help you make the transition from a green card holder to a U.S. citizen.
Applying for naturalization in the U.S. is an exciting decision, but you likely have many questions about how it works and what is involved. United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) outlines the lengthy and strict process by which non-citizens can apply for and obtain naturalization status.
Each applicant must follow the steps closely, provide all documentation requested, and pass several checkpoints along the way. A Miami naturalization lawyer like Rolando Casais, Jr., can guide you through this process, giving you the best chance at becoming a naturalized citizen.
The Naturalization Process
The first step in your naturalization journey is to obtain a green card, also called a permanent resident card. With a green card, a non-U.S. citizen can lawfully live and work in the United States and apply for naturalization after five years (or three years if you are married to a U.S. citizen). You can apply for a green card either from within the U.S. or before you reach the country, and the waiting period can take anywhere from a few months up to two years.
Applying For A Green Card
When applying for a green card, you may do so under these circumstances:
- Family Green Card – Spouses, children, parents, and siblings of U.S. citizens or green card holders, as well as widows and widowers who were married to a U.S. citizen at the time of their spouse’s death, may apply for a green card.
- Employment Green Card – Workers and their spouses and children may apply for permanent resident status.
- Humanitarian Green Card – Individuals seeking asylum or refugee status, or victims of human trafficking, crime, or abuse may apply for a green card.
- Diversity Lottery Green Card – Each year, the U.S. government randomly selects up to 50,000 individuals from a pool of entries from six different geographic regions with historically low levels of immigration to the United States. There is a 7% cap on the allocation of green cards to any single country.
- Longtime Resident Green Card – People living in the United States, whether with lawful or unlawful status, including those considered “undocumented”, since January 1, 1972, are eligible to seek a permanent resident card.
- Other Types of Green Cards – There are a variety of additional categories of green cards offered by USCIS, including the Cuban Adjustment Act, Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness, and others.
Applying For Naturalization
Once a non-citizen has had green card status for three or five years, they can apply for naturalization. Applicants must meet specific eligibility requirements, including age, marital status, military service, and others. Our Miami naturalization lawyer can help determine if you can apply for naturalized citizenship.
If you meet the eligibility requirements, you can begin the application process. Note that you may submit your application as early as 90 days before your three- or five-year waiting period ends. This “90-day early-filing rule” essentially holds your place in line while you complete the waiting period.
Approximately one month after USCIS receives your application, it will schedule an appointment to take your fingerprints for a background check.
Interview and Exam
Your USCIS interview is designed as a way for a U.S. government official to verify the information on your application and ask any other questions that may help determine the validity of your request for naturalization. You are allowed to have your Miami naturalization lawyer with you. Our immigration attorney has traveled to other states to sit with a client for his interview.
Following the interview, you will sit for an exam to test your knowledge of the English language as well as U.S. civics.
Oath of Allegiance
If your application is approved, you can take the Oath of Allegiance as your final step towards naturalization, and your path to citizenship will be complete.
How Casais & Prias Can Help
As you can see, the citizenship process is long and complex. Applicants must submit various documents, overcome a potential language barrier, and be able to understand legal jargon. Having an experienced Miami naturalization lawyer like Rolando Casais, Jr., along with the team at Casais & Prias, will go a long way in helping you secure your citizenship through naturalization.
One of our clients has this to say about his experience with Mr. Casais:
The professionalism that Rolando Casais Jr manages is impeccable. Thanks to your management and advice, my adjustment of status case was approved in 53 days. It was a simple process, clear from the beginning. Your professional opinion is very honest. The way the entire application was filled out, I am sure it made the job of the immigration officials easier. Thank you so much.” – Cesar V.
If you have questions about obtaining lawful permanent residency, applying for naturalization, or any other immigration issues, contact our firm today. We will happily discuss your situation and guide you on your journey to citizenship.