Naturalization & Citizenship attorneys in New Orleans
What is naturalization in US?
“Naturalization” is the name of the process to become a U.S. citizen, if you were born outside of the United States.
Wait Times for Citizenship
You should expect, considering the current processing times, to wait over a year from filing to the final decision. This of course depends on several factors, and so you should speak with an attorney for any specific questions or concerns about delays.
How the Application Process Works
You can apply online for citizenship through my.uscis.gov or via a paper application. There is a filing fee and you will need to provide evidence of your residency (valid green card), and other documents depending on your case and history.
Once filed, you will receive a receipt from USCIS that will verify they have received your case and will provide information on next steps. You may have a biometrics appointment but many have been waived due to COVID19 and the local office will reuse your old fingerprints for the current case.
The Naturalization Interview and Examination
Next, you will attend an interview and a naturalization test, where you will need to show that you have a basic understanding of the form of government and history of the United States. You must also demonstrate proficiency in English.
The information you will need to study is available in several languages here: www.uscis.gov . Make sure to bring your valid lawful permanent residency card and any other documents related to your case to the interview. You must be prepared to speak in English and take your exam, along with answering any questions the office at USCIS may ask. It is very important that you are honest and thorough in your answers during the interview.
Once the naturalization interview and exam are passed, you will receive a decision notice. If there are any issues with your case, you may receive a “Request for Evidence” and it is very important that you respond with the information requested. If you do not, your case may be denied.
Important things to remember about the citizenship application process
If you move, you must change your address promptly with the government through the form AR-11, which you can file online or in a paper form. It is important that you have a safe address to receive documents from USCIS.
If you have a marriage based case, please remember that you will need to provide information about your relationship. Always speak with an attorney when you have doubts or questions about special circumstances.
There are exemptions to the language requirement and the exam, but they are very specific to certain qualifying applicants. Make sure to get legal advice about seeking any exemptions.