Citizenship Naturalization N-400


Becoming a Citizen

Affordable – Experienced – Accurate

Immigration attorney - citizenshipOur law firm has helped thousands of people obtain US citizenship.  It is one of the most rewarding aspects of our profession.  As immigration attorneys, we have the tremendous honor to have the opportunity to be part of this process.  If you or a loved one need an immigration attorney to help you obtain your citizenship, it would be our pleasure to be of service to you.

The process is relatively straightforward.  However, with all immigration processes, there are details that can derail the naturalization process.  Below, please find a summary of the N-400 process.  Should you have any questions or if you would like to schedule a free consultation, please do no hesitate to call us at 602-989-5000.

Obtain Your Citizenship

Our immigration attorneys have a great amount of experience in representing thousands of people who wanted to become a U.S. Citizen. Naturalization is the process in which a legal permanent resident can become a U.S. citizen. Citizenship gives the individual certain benefits such as:

  • The right to vote

  • Bringing family members to the U.S.

  • Becoming eligible for Federal jobs.

  • Run for elective office where citizenship is required.

  • Obtain certain state and federal benefits not available to noncitizens.

  • Participate on a jury.

A person can either apply on an individual basis or on the basis of marriage to a U.S. citizen.

Individual Basis: If the person is not married to a U.S. citizen he or she is eligible to apply for citizenship after five years of having their legal permanent residency.

Basis of Marriage to a U.S. Citizen: If the individual has been a legal permanent resident (LPR) for three years and is married to a U.S. citizen and has been married to that same person for the past three years, he or she is eligible to apply for citizenship.

The whole process takes approximately six months. In order to become a U.S. Citizen you have to meet the following guidelines.

Citizenship Requirements

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    Be 18 years of age or older.

  • Be green card holder for at least five years immediately prior to the filing date. If residence is obtained through marriage, green card holder can apply after 3 years as long as: 1) spouse has been a United States Citizen for more than three years, AND 2) married to United States Citizen for more than three years

  • Have lived within the state or USCIS district with jurisdiction over the applicant’s place of residence for at least 3 months prior to the filing date

  • Have continuous residence in the U.S. as a green card holder for at least five years immediately prior to the filing date.

  • Reside continuously within the U.S. from the date of application for naturalization up to the time of naturalization

  • Be able to read, write, and speak English and have knowledge and understanding of U.S. history and government. Exceptions: 20 LPR and 50+ years old, or 15 years LPR and 55+ years old.

  • Have not committed the following crimes within the five years immediately prior to the filing date (this list is not all inclusive):

Aggravated felonies

Conviction of one or more crimes of moral turpitude

Conviction of two or more crimes with a combined sentence of at least five years

Controlled substance violation, except for 30g or less of marijuana

Being incarcerated for 180 days or more

Prostitution offenses

How The Process Works

First, you will have to complete the N-400 form. This form is the application used to apply for citizenship. The form itself costs $640.00. However, the biometrics exam is always included in the filing fee, totaling $725.00.

The following are some of the documents to send with the form N-400:

  • Passport style photos

  • Copy of marriage certificate (if applying on the basis of marriage)

  • Copy of divorce decrees or Death Certificates of previous marriage (if applicable)

  • Copy of front and back of green card

  • Certified court documents (if arrested or charged with a crime, or had a crime expunged)

  • Evidence of registration with Selective Service (if a male who  lived in the U.S. between age 18 and 26

After approximately one month after submitting the application, the applicant will receive an appointment letter from USCIS. On the date and time indicated on the letter, the individual must go the location indicated and get his or her fingerprints taken.

About two months after completing the biometrics, the applicant will receive a letter with the appointment for the interview. At the specified time, go to the local office to answer questions about the application, take the English and civics test, and receive a decision.

There are certain exceptions to the reading, writing, and speaking English requirement. The applicant must either be at least 50 years of age and a LPR for at least 20 years, at least 50 years of age and a LPR for at least 15 years, at least 65 years of age and a LPR for at least 20 years. If the applicant is over the age of 65 and has been a LPR for 20 years or over, they will be given a short version of the history and government tests that are twenty questions long. These individuals do not have to take the English language test but have to the take the civics test in the language of their choice.

 Here’s what you will need to bring to the interview:

  • Green card

  • Valid state issued identification

  • Passports and travel documents

  • Birth certificates of children (if children are indicated on application)

  • Tax returns

  • Certified court documents (if there is a criminal history)

 Now the only step left is to take the Oath! If approved, the final step is to take the oath of allegiance. The USCIS will notify the applicant by mail of the time and date of the ceremony. When the date arrives, the individual should arrive at least 30 minutes early to check in and return his or her green card. If more than a day has passed since the interview, the applicant may be asked several questions. Once the ceremony is complete and the oath has been recited, the applicant is now a citizen. The certificate of naturalization will be issued and be used as proof of citizenship.