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At Consumer Law Group, our immigration attorneys are dedicated to helping you naturalize, so you can become an American citizen. Becoming a naturalized citizen can be a long and demanding process. Our team of highly trained immigration lawyers are here to join your team and help you with naturalization.
- Our team of immigration lawyers in Chicago represents clients across the nation to help anyone seeking citizenship.
- With a proven track record of 10 years and counting, you can rest assured that our immigration lawyers will work tirelessly on your behalf to achieve the outcome you deserve.
- We provide services in both English and Spanish, so you can speak with our immigration lawyers in a language you’re comfortable with.
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What is U.S. Citizenship & What Does it Mean?
United States citizenship is a status that provides you with certain benefits, rights, and duties, and gives you the ability to vote and participate in jury duty in the U.S. What this means is that you can fully enjoy the freedoms and rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. Some of the benefits of becoming an American citizen include:
- Ability to vote
- Priority to petition to bring family members to the U.S.
- Obtaining and traveling with a U.S. passport
- Ability to become an elected official
- Obtaining citizenship for children born abroad
- Becoming eligible for a federal job
- Travel abroad without limitations as to the amount of time you can be outside of the United States.
However, with these benefits come a variety of responsibilities, such as:
- Serving the U.S. when required
- Supporting and defending the Constitution and laws of the U.S.
- Swearing allegiance to the United States
Consumer Law Group’s dedicated team of immigration lawyers are here to work on your behalf to help you enjoy the benefits and responsibilities that come with being an American citizen.
Do I Need a Lawyer for Citizenship?
No, you do not need a lawyer to apply for citizenship. However, seeking legal assistance to help you file your Application for Naturalization can ensure every component is filled out correctly. When seeking an immigration lawyer, it’s important you find one who is authorized to provide this kind of help. At Consumer Law Group, our attorneys are all qualified to help you on your path to becoming a citizen. From communicating with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) about your case to explaining the different immigration options you have, our lawyers are here for you.
In some cases, you may wonder whether you need a lawyer for your citizenship interview. While not always necessary, a citizenship lawyer can help you if you are associated with certain legal issues. Before you attend your interview, our citizenship attorneys can analyze your case, whether you have something on your track record or have a disability that limits your ability to learn English, to protect your rights and explain your case to the USCIS officer.
How Much Does a Citizenship Lawyer Cost?
The cost of an immigration lawyer for citizenship is unique to each client and depends on a variety of factors, such as the complexity of your case, your lawyer’s skill and experience, and the number of hours required to complete your case. At Consumer Law Group, we strive to provide affordable rates so you can get the representation you deserve.
What Are the Eligibility Requirements to Become a U.S. Citizen?
In order to become a U.S. citizen, you need to meet certain eligibility requirements. The general requirements most immigrants need to meet in order to become a naturalized citizen include:
- Must be 18 years of age or older when filing Form N-400 (Application for Naturalization)
- Must have the ability to read, write, and speak basic English
- Must be a person of good moral character
- Must take and pass the U.S. naturalization test
- Must be a permanent resident in the United States for at least 5 years, or 3 years if you meet all of the eligibility requirements to file as a spouse of a U.S. citizen
- Must demonstrate a continuous permanent residence and physical presence
- Must live in the U.S. or USCIS District for at least 3 months before filing Form N-400
- Must demonstrate an attachment to the ideals and principles of the U.S. Constitution
- Must demonstrate basic knowledge of U.S. history, civic principles, and government
- Must take an oath of allegiance to the United States
Becoming a United States citizen isn’t always an easy process. Depending on your circumstances, you may have different eligibility requirements to meet. To ensure you have the best chances of becoming a naturalized citizen, speak with one of our experienced citizenship lawyers to get started on your application today.
How Do You Become an American Citizen?
To become an American citizen, there are a few steps you need to take. The standard process of becoming a U.S. citizen goes as follows:
- Determine whether you are already a U.S. citizen
- Determine if you meet all of the eligibility requirements to become an American citizen
- Complete Form N-400, Application for Naturalization
- File Form N-400 and pay your fees
- Attend your biometrics appointment, if applicable
- Complete your citizenship interview
- Review your decision from USCIS on your Form N-400
- Receive a notice to take the Oath of Allegiance
- Take the Oath of Allegiance to the United States
However, there are alternate routes to becoming a U.S. citizen. In total, there are four ways you can become a U.S. citizen, with one being through naturalization. Aside from naturalization, you can become a U.S. citizen through:
At Consumer Law Group, our naturalization lawyers will work with you to determine which option is best for your situation.
Common Problems Encountered With Becoming an American Citizen
There are various problems you can encounter that can prevent you from becoming an American citizen. Some of the most common issues include:
- Owing back taxes to the IRS
- Marriage issues, where USCIS officials pry into your personal life to determine whether your marriage is legitimate
- Concerns with your moral character, such as having a criminal record or lying during the immigration application process
- Completing and filing your documents incorrectly
To avoid these problems, reach out to our team of citizenship lawyers to ensure your best chances of becoming an American citizen.
Citizenship & Naturalization FAQs
To become an American citizen, you will need to pay a $640 filing fee. In addition to the filing fee, you may need to pay the $85 biometric fee, bringing your total to $725. Applicants who are 75 years of age or older are not required to pay the biometric fee.
The time it takes to become a U.S. citizen varies on a case-by-case basis. However, in most cases, it can take anywhere between 6 months and 1 year. This is because there are multiple steps you need to complete, such as filing your Form N-400, attending your citizenship interview, passing your naturalization test, and so forth. If your citizenship request is denied, you will then have to start the process all over again.
In some instances, your citizenship can be revoked through a process called denaturalization. Although rare, you can have your U.S. citizenship stripped away, and you will be deported. Some instances where your citizenship can be revoked include:
- Obtaining naturalization illegally
- Concealing material facts or having willful misrepresentation
- Having membership or affiliation with certain organizations, such as a terrorist organization or the Communist party
There are three documents all citizenship applicants must send with their N-400 application:
- Photocopy of both sides of your Permanent Resident Card
- Check, money order, or credit card for the application and biometric services fee
- Two identical color photographs with your name and Alien Registration Number written lightly on the back of each photo if you reside outside of the U.S.
In addition to these documents, you may need to submit other pieces of paperwork, such as in these situations:
- If an attorney or accredited representative acts on your behalf, you must send a completed original Form G28
- If you are applying for naturalization on the basis of marriage to a U.S. Citizen, you must send four documents:
- Evidence your spouse has been a U.S. citizen for the last 3 years (e.x. birth certificate or certificate of naturalization)
- Current marriage certificate
- Proof of termination to all prior marriages of your spouse (e.x. divorce decrees or death certificates)
- Documents that refer to you and your spouse (e.x. tax returns, bank accounts, leases).
At Consumer Law Group, our immigration attorneys for citizenship can help you figure out what documents you need to apply for American citizenship.
To become a U.S. citizen, you must take and pass the citizenship test. The English portion of the test goes as follows:
- Ability to speak will be determined by the USCIS offer during your eligibility interview
- Ability to read will be determined by correctly reading the sentences out loud
- Ability to write will be determined by correctly writing out one of three sentences
In addition to the English portion of the test, you must complete the civics portion, where there will be 10 out of 100 possible questions. You must answer 6 of the 10 questions correctly. While you can never predict what civics questions will be asked, some common questions include:
- What is the supreme law of the land? (Answer: The Constitution)
- What do we call the first ten amendments to the Constitution? (Answer: The Bill of Rights)
- Name one branch of government. (Answers: Legislative, Executive, Judicial)
- We elect a president for how many years? (Answer: 4 years)
- What is the highest court in the United States? (Answer: The Supreme Court)
- How old do citizens have to be to vote for President? (Answer: 18 or older)
- What group of people were taken to America and sold as slaves? (Answer: Africans)
- Who wrote the Declaration of Independence? (Answer: Thomas Jefferson)
- What movement tried to end racial discrimination? (Answer: Civil Rights Movement)
With a large team focusing on various practice areas, we are able to help clients with diverse needs. Consumer Law can assist you with: