Citizenship & Naturalization
After three to five years of lawful permanent residence in the United States, you may qualify for U.S. citizenship through a process called naturalization. According to the Department of Homeland Security, about 843,593 immigrants became naturalized citizens in 2019.
If you have resided in the U.S. with a green card for five years, you are likely eligible to naturalize. This process is reduced to three years if you are married to a U.S. citizen. Once naturalized, your minor children can also become naturalized U.S. citizens.
At Parikh Law Group, LLC, our experienced immigration attorneys love helping people achieve their dream of becoming U.S. citizens. In general, immigration processes are long, complex, and confusing. As such, it is in your best interest to obtain legal counsel for any matters related to immigration, including citizenship and naturalization. Contact a Chicago immigration attorney today to determine how to proceed.
The Naturalization Process
The entire naturalization process, which starts when you file your application for citizenship and ends when you attend the Oath of Allegiance ceremony, lasts between 18.5 and 24 months, though backlogs and delays are common. Having a Chicago Citizenship and Naturalization attorney by your side can help you avoid unnecessary errors and delays.
Once your application is approved, you will attend a naturalization interview, which is comprised of an English test, civics test, and questions related to your background and application. After this interview, USCIS will either approve or deny your application on the spot. If approved, you may be able to receive citizenship that day. If you fail your test, or USCIS needs more information, they may extend, rather than deny, your application. If your application is extended or denied, it is critical to consult with your immigration attorney immediately.
As of June 2022, the cost to naturalize is $725, which includes $640 for processing and $85 for biometrics. This fee is reduced slightly for applicants 75 and older. Military applicants don’t have to pay anything.
What Are My Rights as a Naturalized Citizen?
As a U.S. citizen, you are able to now petition for your spouse, children, and parents. You also gain the right to vote. You will be a full U.S. citizen, with the only exception being that you are not allowed to run for president (which is limited to “natural born” citizens). Most importantly, you can avoid deportation proceedings and cannot lose citizenship, in all but very extreme cases, such as obtaining citizenship fraudulently.
Contact Parikh Law Group, LLC Today
If you wish to learn more about obtaining U.S. citizenship through naturalization, the skilled immigration team at Parikh Law Group, LLC can help. We will review your situation and ensure that you fully understand your rights and options before moving forward. Do not attempt to go through this complicated process without the help of an experienced immigration lawyer. Contact us today for a confidential consultation about your case. Our highly multilingual staff speaks English, Hindi, Gujarati, Farsi, and Spanish.