Las Vegas Citizenship Attorney
Comprehensive Naturalization Guidance in Southern Nevada
Many immigrants come to the United States with the goal of becoming permanent citizens. Naturalization is the process through which lawful permanent residents attain citizenship. Only immigrants with green cards, which confer lawful permanent residency, can initiate naturalization.
Lt. Col. Marvin and our staff at American Liberty Law Group are committed to helping immigrants achieve their American dreams. Our Las Vegas citizenship lawyer is passionate about helping people and can guide you through each stage of the naturalization process. Our firm’s team has over 30 years of combined legal experience, and we are prepared to leverage our knowledge and resources to provide you with the capable and compassionate representation you deserve.
Qualifying for United States Citizenship
You will need to obtain a green card before you can start exploring your naturalization options. Green cards can be procured through family-based immigration, employment-based immigration, and several other means.
Unfortunately, you cannot apply for citizenship immediately after getting your green card. You will first need to undergo a mandatory waiting period and maintain continuous and physical presence in the United States.
- If you obtained your green card through marriage to a U.S. citizen, you can potentially begin the naturalization process after three years
- If you obtained your green card through almost any other means, you will need to wait at least five years
Understanding Physical and Continuous Presence
Physical presence refers to the amount of time physically spent within the country’s borders. You must be physically present in the U.S. for at least half of your waiting period (1.5 years if you obtained your green card through marriage to a U.S. citizen or 3 years for almost everyone else).
To maintain continuous presence, you must not travel outside the United States for any single period of time exceeding six months. Doing so “disrupts” your continuous presence and may jeopardize your ability to apply for citizenship. You must maintain continuous presence for the entirety of your mandatory waiting period, though exceptions can be granted under certain circumstances.
Additional Naturalization Requirements
In addition to maintaining physical and continuous presence, you must also meet the following requirements in order to be eligible for naturalization:
- You must be at least 18 years old
- You must have lived in the state from where you will apply for at least three months
- You must register with the Selective Service System if you lived in the country between the ages of 18 and 25 and are male
- You must be determined to have “good moral character,” which generally means you must not have a disqualifying criminal record or commit fraud when seeking immigration benefits
- You must be ready and willing to serve the United States and defend its constitution
Our Las Vegas citizenship attorney can evaluate you or your loved one’s circumstances and advise whether you qualify for naturalization. We can work to overcome any issues or potentially disqualifying factors that may be impeding your ability to seek citizenship.
Once you have your green card, meet all eligibility requirements, and complete your mandatory waiting period, you will be able to formally apply for citizenship and begin the naturalization process. Our team can assist you with preparing and submitting all necessary paperwork.
United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will generally schedule a biometrics appointment approximately one month after receiving your application. This will involve providing your fingerprints at your local field office. USCIS will use your biometric information to conduct a background check.
Your Interview and Citizenship Exam
Wait times can vary, but it often will take over a year before USCIS will schedule your in-person interview. The interview is typically straightforward and will involve a USCIS official asking questions about your application materials. We can accompany you to your interview.
You will also need to pass a two-part citizenship exam as part of your in-person USCIS interview:
- The first part of the exam will evaluate your ability to speak, read, and write in the English language. The interview itself will be conducted entirely in English, and you will pass if you are able to understand and respond to the USCIS official’s questions. You will be presented with three sentences written in English and will need to read one of them aloud. The USCIS official will also speak three sentences aloud in English, and you will need to write one of them down.
- The second part of the exam will test your knowledge of U.S. history and government. You will be provided with ten questions – selected out of a pre-published pool of 100 questions – and answer at least six correctly.
Our team can help you study and prepare for the citizenship exam. You do not need to panic if you do not initially pass one or more components of the test. You will have a second opportunity to retake the portions you did not pass. Exemptions to certain sections of the exam are also available under certain conditions.
Approval of Your Application
If you pass all parts of the citizenship exam, the USCIS official conducting your interview will approve your application. You will not be a U.S. citizen until you attend your Oath of Allegiance ceremony, which will be scheduled in the weeks after your interview. Upon taking the Oath of Allegiance, you will be presented with a Certificate of Naturalization and will be formally and legally considered a U.S. citizen.
Beyond its symbolic importance, United States citizenship confers several valuable benefits and important responsibilities. Unlike lawful permanent residency, U.S. citizenship does not expire, and you will not need to remain in touch with USCIS about changes to your primary residence and current address. You will also be protected from removal and cannot be deported.
Other benefits of U.S. citizenship include the ability to:
- Run for office
- Vote in federal elections
- Travel with a U.S. passport
- Apply for government jobs reserved for U.S. citizens
- Apply for certain types of government benefits
- Obtain automatic citizenship for children born after completing the naturalization process
Our Las Vegas citizenship lawyer is ready to help you efficiently navigate what can sometimes be a difficult and overwhelming process. Our team at American Liberty Law Group understands how USCIS adjudicates naturalization applications and can work to address any obstacles that may arise. We know what is at stake and are ready to serve as your guide and advocate throughout every step of your immigration journey.
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