Many immigrants who come to the United States do so in the hopes of being naturalized as full citizens, which involves navigating a lengthy, complex process. Having an experienced immigration attorney to guide you through can simplify this process and increase your likelihood of success. According to Berd & Klauss, PLLC, immigration law specialists in New York, there are several steps you should take before your naturalization, such as:
- Getting a Green Card. Only immigrants who have successfully been granted permanent resident status can apply for citizenship, with just a few exceptions. If you haven't yet attained a green card, an immigration law firm can help determine your eligibility.
- Meeting strict criteria. An attorney will also help to determine if you meet the other criteria for eligibility, such as the amount of time you've spent in the country, demonstration of character, English language and American civics tests, and many more.
- Filing the paperwork. Submitting the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Form N-400 officially begins the process. You'll also need to include a copy of your green card, a $595, and an $85 fee to pay for biometrics.
- Giving fingerprints. As part of your background check, you'll also have to submit your fingerprints at a local immigration office.
- Completing the interview. A USCIS officer will go through your entire N-400 application in person and verify your answers to each of your questions. This is where you'll also be tested for English knowledge and U.S. civics.
For legal aid with this difficult process, visit Berd & Klauss PLLC online or call (212) 461-7152 to schedule a consultation.