You have had your green card for some time, and now you wish to go to the next step and apply to become a US citizen. The process you will go through in applying for and becoming a US citizen is known as “naturalization.” As you embark on this naturalization process, there are a few things you should know or keep in mind. At Minsky McCormick & Hallan, we have experienced naturalization lawyers who help clients in the Chicago area seamlessly apply and obtain their US citizenship.
To be granted citizenship, an applicant must meet the eligibility criteria:
The naturalization process starts with the green card holder filing a Form N-400 Application for Naturalization with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and paying a processing fee.
This application can either be filed online or by completing and mailing the application to the USCIS Service Center for the state where the applicant lives. In either case, the N-400 application must be accompanied by all required supporting documents.
Upon receiving your application, USCIS will send you a receipt with an important Receipt Number, which means that your N-400 application has been received and accepted for processing. You can use the Receipt Number to track progress on your application online or by calling the USCIS Support telephone number, 1-800-375-5283.
From here on, it is a waiting game as USCIS processes these citizenship applications on a first-filed, first-processed basis, which means the applications filed before yours will be processed and completed first before yours is processed. The waiting time is approximately 12 to 16 months for applicants in Illinois.
However, this estimate in processing time for Illinois assumes you have properly filed your application, and your application is solid and without any issues that can cause unnecessary delay.
Some of the reasons an application can be unnecessarily delayed is filing an incomplete application or one with errors that must be rectified before processing resumes.
If you have already applied or plan to apply for citizenship and you are in the Chicago area, contact us today to schedule a consultation. Many apply for citizenship before consulting with an immigration lawyer and end up having their applications denied for reasons an experienced immigration lawyer would have guided them to avoid or successfully resolve them. Do not take that risk; contact us today!