If an individual was not born a U.S. citizen, or did not obtain citizenship instantly after birth, he or she may become a U.S. citizen through the process of naturalization. Amongst the many rights that an individual receives upon becoming a U.S. citizen, he or she is permitted to hold a U.S. passport, serve on a jury, and register and vote. If you are interested in commencing the naturalization process, get in touch with a Tampa immigration attorney for assistance.
In order to be eligible for naturalization, some basic requirements must be met: an individual must have the ability to speak, read and write in English, have knowledge and a fundamental understanding of U.S. government and history, have an attachment to the U.S. Constitution’s values, feel favorably toward the U.S., be a continued physical presence or resident in the country for a determined period, and have a good moral character. When applying to become a naturalized citizen, the process can take up to six months before it is completed. It is important to have every affair in order before the process begins, such as having fingerprints taken, having current photos, submitting a naturalization application, taking the Oath of Allegiance, and being interviewed.
The most important component to the naturalization process is absolute honesty, even if you have been convicted of a crime (whether it has been lawfully expunged or not). If the USCIS discovers that past criminal records have been either concealed or falsified, there is a strong chance that your application will be denied.
If your naturalization application is denied, there is hope. You may appeal for an administrative review, which grants your application another chance consisting of a hearing with an immigration officer. If all goes well, you may be eligible to apply at a later date.
Becoming naturalized is a process worth putting forth time and effort, although it can be a timely and arduous process. Here at Maney | Gordon | Zeller, P.A., we dutifully commit ourselves to immigration law and the evaluation of your personal situation. Our firm has six offices in five cities, and is available for excellent service and highly moral representation.