Understanding the Naturalization Process in Chicago

What is the Naturalization Process?

Naturalization is an immigration process that a permanent resident can undertake to become a U.S. citizen. The process involves filing Form N-400 and is generally the last step you must take as a lawful permanent resident to become an American citizen. Immigration lawyers in Chicago say that becoming a naturalized citizen has several benefits, such as:

  • Freedom to practice your religion
  • Freedom to self-expression
  • Freedom to travel outside the country for as long as you desire
  • Freedom to vote for public officials during elections
  • Eligibility for federal jobs
  • Ability to sponsor qualifying relatives and spouses without having to wait a long time

If you’re considering becoming a naturalized citizen, a skilled legal expert can guide you through the legal requirements. They can also help you with the application to ensure you don’t make mistakes that could have your application denied.

Who Is Eligible for Naturalization in Chicago?

To undergo the naturalization process, you must fulfill the requirements of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). Chicago naturalization attorneys provide the following eligibility list as provided for by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services:

  • You must be at least 18 years old
  • You are a green card holder and have continuously resided in the country for at least five years before applying. You may apply after three years if you obtained the green card by marrying a U.S. citizen and are still married and living together.
  • You have lived in the same state for at least three months before filing the application.
  • You have been in the United States for at least 30 months out of 5 years immediately before filing your application. Consult skilled naturalization lawyers in Chicago.
  • You continue to be physically present in the U.S. from when you apply to the time of naturalization.
  • You are a person of good moral standing without a criminal background. You also must maintain honesty throughout the naturalization process. Not being truthful at any point in the application can lead to dismissal.
  • You understand the history and government of the U.S.
  • You can read and write in English.
  • You will take an Oath of Allegiance to the U.S. and agree to uphold the U.S. constitution

Depending on your case specifics, the USCIS may also impose other eligibility requirements for naturalization. Experienced immigration lawyers in Chicago can assess your application and provide in-depth legal insights to enhance your chances of being successful in your application.

What Are the Steps for the Naturalization Process?

Once you determine your eligibility for naturalization, the steps for application are as follows:

Filing Form N-400

Determining your naturalization eligibility entails completing the Naturalization Eligibility Worksheet. You will then file Form N-400, which requires you to provide documentation of your citizenship eligibility. It is available on the USCIS website. Ensure you read the directions for filling out the form and the documentation you must provide.

Once you collect the necessary documents, submit Form N-400 and pay the required fees online. The USCIS will assess your application and send you a receipt notice. You can check the case processing times or status of your application online.

Attend a Biometrics Appointment

The USCIS will issue you with an appointment notice with your biometrics appointment date, time, and location. Biometrics are vital to the process as they enable the USCIS to conduct a background check on you. Ensure you arrive at the designated venue on time to avoid jeopardizing your application.

Attend an Interview

Once the USCIS completes your case’s preliminary processes, it will schedule an interview with you to complete the naturalization process.

You will get a notice for the interview date and time, which you should attend on time. Remember to carry the appointment notice.

If you have concerns concerning the interview, consult experienced naturalization lawyers in Chicago. They can highlight what to expect and how to conduct yourself to minimize the risk of the USCIS denying your application.

Receive a Decision Notice from the USCIS

The USCIS will evaluate your application and send you a notice of decision. You can access the notice online if you filed your N-400 online. The USCIS may grant your application if it establishes your eligibility for naturalization. It may deny your application if it finds you ineligible. The agency may also require you to provide additional information before the final decision.

Oath of Allegiance

You are not a U.S. citizen until you take the Oath of Allegiance, which happens at a naturalization ceremony. It entails the following steps:

  • Completing the questionnaire for the Notice of Naturalization Oath Ceremony on Form N-445
  • Attend the naturalization ceremony and check in with the USCIS, where an officer will review your responses on N-445
  • Hand in your green card
  • Take the Oath of Allegiance to become a U.S. citizen
  • Get your Certificate of naturalization. Ensure you review it for any mistakes and notify the USCIS before leaving the ceremony site

Understand Your Citizenship

Citizenship is a thread that connects all Americans. You must understand your rights and responsibilities as a citizen. Naturalization lawyers in Chicago say that you’re expected to exercise, honor, and respect them to avoid jeopardizing your new immigration status.

A Skilled Immigration Lawyer Providing Legal Counsel on the Naturalization Process

Becoming a naturalized citizen can be exciting, but achieving the status can be lengthy and complicated. You must understand the process and requirements before applying. Experienced immigration lawyers in Chicago can help you evaluate your eligibility, prepare your application, prepare for the interview, and address any legal challenges.

Gilliam Law is a reputable firm with skilled naturalization lawyers in Chicago. We can assess your naturalization application and guide you accordingly. Naturalization laws are complex, and a lot goes into the process. Our lawyers are willing to help as you work toward achieving your American dream. Call us at 866-511-3422 to schedule a case evaluation.


latest Articles

Skip to content