Naturalization and Citizenship
For many of our clients, attaining permanent resident (green card) status is not the end of their U.S. immigration journey. While a lawful permanent resident (LPR) may live the remainder of his or her life in the United States in LPR status, there are many reasons why a strong majority of our clients wish to apply for U.S. naturalization including:
- Renewing a permanent resident card can be costly over the cost of decades;
- If the LPR wishes to spend blocks of time abroad for work or to tend to an ill parent or other relative, securing re-entry permits and otherwise holding onto LPR status can be complex and costly, whereas attaining U.S. citizenship removes the risk of losing one’s U.S. immigration status;
- A desire to vote in U.S. elections;
- A wish to feel like a permanent participant in U.S. society;
- Wanting to have the most solid immigration status available (U.S. citizens may not be deported; LPRS can be if, for example, they commit a serious crime); and/or
- S. citizenship is necessary to perform some jobs requiring certain security clearances and/or with some U.S. government agencies or contractors.
Many clients and prospective clients make the decision to proceed based upon consideration of one or more of the above factors. They also consider whether they will lose their original citizenship and also consult with their tax advisor before proceeding (in very narrow dynamics normally involving the wealthy, acquiring citizenship may impact their tax situation).
For those clients who decide to proceed, our legal team possesses many decades of experience in handling naturalization cases coast to coast. Naturalization cases not only involve a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) decision on whether an applicant meets a myriad of eligibility requirements, but also a USCIS determination regarding whether the underlying permanent resident status was properly conferred. Therefore, having a lawyer assess whether you meet the physical presence, continuity of residence, good moral character (which includes tax compliance and disclosure of even traffic related violations) and other requirements, and review the immigration history underlying your grant of permanent resident status can help reduce the odds of a government challenge to your naturalization application or, worse yet, a USCIS attempt to rescind your LPR status.
Our lawyers guide the client from the initial naturalization assessment through case preparation and filing; provide guidance on the language and civics test as well as how to prepare the interview overall; review the interview dynamic in advance so the client is prepared for likely issues; and also are available to attend the interview in person or telephonically if desired. A free consultation is available to help you to assess whether you and your family may be eligible and to provide a cost estimate.
Our legal team also handles a variety of other citizenship related services including claims to derivative U.S. citizenship, no claim letters, and restoration of lost U.S. citizenship.