The process of becoming a naturalized U.S. citizen can be daunting for anyone. It can be even more difficult if English is not your first language, and this causes many problems in the application process. You don’t have to go through the naturalization process on your own. A citizenship lawyer near Elmhurst can help you prepare the application paperwork correctly, prove your eligibility for citizenship, apply for any testing exemptions, and deal with any legal challenges that arise along the way. The experienced citizenship lawyers near Elmhurst at Minsky, McCormick & Hallagan are here to answer all your questions about the naturalization process.
Most permanent residents become eligible for citizenship after holding a valid green card for five years. (This is reduced to three years for green card holders who are married to a U.S. citizen.) You should also establish residency in the state or immigration district where you intend to apply for citizenship. If you have any questions about your eligibility, or background check, or any issues that could prevent you from becoming eligible, be sure to talk to an immigration attorney as soon as possible.
Once you apply for citizenship and prove you are eligible, the government will determine whether you have “good moral character.” This includes a criminal background check. Not every offense will bar you from citizenship, so be sure to advise your citizenship lawyer about anything that will come up on a background check. The more time your attorney has to prepare, the better options they will have for addressing these issues during the application process. Male applicants will also have to register for the selective service (the military draft).
Applicants must pass two separate tests in order to be eligible for citizenship. There is an English proficiency test and a civics exam. There are certain exemptions, such as if you are 50 or older and have held a green card for 20 years or more, you may be exempt from the English exam. (Applicants aged 55 or older can also be exempt if they have held a green card for 15 years or longer.) These applicants must still pass the civic exam.
There are also certain medical exemptions for both exams. If you have a physical or developmental disability or a mental impairment, you may request an exemption. This is done by filing Form N-648. There may also be other disability accommodations available throughout the naturalization process. Be sure to ask your Elmhurst citizenship lawyer about any special accommodations you may require.
The citizenship lawyers at Minsky, McCormick & Hallagan are near Elmhurst, and we serve clients throughout the Chicagoland area. Our immigration attorneys have experience handling all types of citizenship cases. We can help you address any potential problems in order to complete the naturalization process and quickly and easily as possible. Contact us to schedule a consultation with an experienced immigration attorney as soon as possible.