Naturalization is the highest benefit level that can be granted by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). When immigrants become bona fide citizens through the process of naturalization, they are rewarded with democratic participation, protection by American embassies abroad, and the opportunity to apply for jobs that are normally not offered to applicants who are not citizens.
Immigrants must satisfy a number of requirements before they can start the naturalization process. First of all, the USCIS only offers naturalization to foreigners who are at least 18 years old, and they must be willing to take an oath of allegiance to the United States.
In terms of legal status and permanence, applicants must be in possession of an I-551 Alien Registration Card when they apply for naturalization. Aside from being green card holders, the applicants must submit proof of having resided in the U.S. for at least 30 months in the five years preceding their applications, which means that they must have been in the country for at least six months out of the year. An absence in excess of six months may require an explanation drafted by a San Diego immigration lawyer to prove that abandonment of residency was never intended.
In most cases, applicants will be required to pass an English language exam along with a test of U.S. history and civics. Immigration attorneys may be able to get waivers for these tests under certain conditions related to the advanced age or mental ability of the applicant.
The criminal background report of the applicant must show that he or she is of good moral character, which generally means an absence of criminal convictions in the five years preceding the application. Aggravated felonies and murder convictions are usually difficult to clear for the purpose of naturalization, but seasoned immigration attorneys may be able to request a waiver for some applicants.
It is important for applicants to be cognizant of their responsibilities as future citizens. Aside from the oath of allegiance, applicants must also promise to defend and support the Constitution, which is the law of the land. To this effect, applicants should become familiar with the essential clauses of the Constitution.
For help acquiring U.S. citizenship, call KS Visa Law at (858) 874-0711 and speak with one of their experienced naturalization lawyers in San Diego. We can help you fill out and file paperwork correctly and guide you through each step of the process. Reach out today. We are here to help.