Naturalization as a United States citizen is the final, long-awaited step for many permanent residents who have hoped to gain citizenship since their first days in the country. Like many other steps in the process of becoming a U.S. citizen, it is far from simple. That's why — while you can technically file for naturalization on your own — there are numerous benefits to having a lawyer by your side to advise you. Take a look below to learn more about three common situations that call for the knowledge and expertise of a naturalization lawyer.
You're Confused About What Documents You Need
When you initially file for naturalization, you will need to obtain several documents as well as fill out additional government forms. All of this can be overwhelming, and many people are unsure if they have done things correctly all the way up to the point that their application is officially approved. If you don't want to deal with the stress and anxiety that this uncertainty entails, then it is best to hire a naturalization attorney who can help you gather the necessary documents, fill out forms without any mistakes, and then file them for you. They can also assist you if you have already filed an application and have had the government request further documents.
Your Application Has Been Denied
Unfortunately, it is all too common for a person's first application to be denied. This may be due to a number of reasons, including prior criminal convictions, a failure to pay taxes in previous years, or a failure to pay court-ordered child support. Just because your application has been denied, however, does not mean that all hope is lost. Working with an attorney will bolster your chances of approval and allow you to appeal the initial decision with much more confidence.
You Are Uncomfortable Sitting for the Final Interview Alone
One of the last steps in the process of becoming a U.S. citizen is an interview conducted with an officer of citizenship and immigration services. They will ask you various questions under oath about yourself and your application, as well as administer short reading, writing, and speaking tests — all of which can be understandably stressful. If you are not confident in your English language abilities or simply want the comfort of immediate clarification when necessary, there is all the more reason to hire an attorney before you start the naturalization process.
For more information, contact a local naturalization lawyer.