San Jose Citizenship Attorney
If you or a family member are interested in becoming a United States citizen, it’s important to know that the process can be lengthy and complicated, depending on your individual situation. Therefore, many people elect to work with a citizenship attorney, so they know they are doing every step properly for the greatest chance of success.
To learn more about the process or start your citizenship journey today, call Yemi Getachew Immigration Law Office P.C. at 408-292-7995. Or, feel free to reach out online using our contact form to set up a consultation right away.
Citizenship And Naturalization Help In The Bay Area
How do you become an American citizen? Becoming a naturalized citizen of the United States is perhaps one of the most exciting and rewarding experiences for an individual. It is a privilege to become a United States citizen, and Yemi Getachew Immigration Law Office, P.C. fights on behalf of clients to help them overcome any barriers to naturalization.
Whether it is helping the client study for the history and civics test or reviewing the client’s immigration and criminal history, or determining if any disability exemptions exist, our lawyers go through your history and represent your interests zealously. We have won difficult cases where an individual derived citizenship because their biological or adopted parent was a United States citizen before the age of 18, but they did not know it.
How Do People Become US Citizens?
There are four ways to become a United States citizen:
- Be born in the US
- Be born outside the US to at least one parent who is a US citizen
- Acquire US citizenship automatically between birth and turning 18
- Use the N-400 naturalization process
We work with many people who use the N-400 naturalization process or wish to acquire citizenship through their US citizen parent(s). You may already know someone who has become a US citizen this way.
What Are the Benefits of US Citizenship?
There are multiple advantages to being a citizen of the United States:
- You may vote in elections and run for elected office (other than the presidency and vice presidency).
- You can work in federal jobs requiring US citizenship.
- You may travel with a US passport, which affords more freedoms than passports from other countries.
- You cannot be deported to your former country, and you’ll have no more immigration paperwork to worry about.
- You can avail yourself of federal benefits only available to US citizens (if you meet the qualification).
Who Qualifies to Become a Naturalized Citizen?
There are three types of people who qualify to become naturalized citizens of the United States:
- Asylees – people who have been granted asylum and have lived as lawful permanent residents of the US for at least four years
- Spouses of US citizens – those who are married to US citizens and have lived as lawful permanent residents in the US for a minimum of three years
- Lawful permanent residents – residents who have been in the US for at least five years or who have served in the US military for at least three years
How Do You Become Eligible for United States Citizenship?
The first step toward naturalization is to become a green card holder, also known as becoming a lawful permanent resident. As well as having a green card, you must meet other requirements to be eligible for naturalization:
- Be at least 18 years of age
- Pass an English language test (with a few exceptions)
- Pass a US history and civics test (with some exceptions)
- Have been physically present in the US for the majority of your time as a green card holder
- Be a person of good moral character
- Have lived in the US state in which you file for citizenship for at least three months prior to filing
You cannot have been convicted of a crime in the last five years, nor have been convicted of a serious crime since 1990. You must have paid your taxes as required by law.
As a naturalization attorney, Yemi Getachew also helps people obtain their green cards, which indicate they hold lawful permanent resident status in the US.
How Does the Naturalization Process Work?
Once you are eligible to become a naturalized citizen of the US using the criteria listed above, there are set steps you must take as part of the process. Working with a US citizenship attorney can help ensure you complete each step correctly.
- You must complete and submit form N-400, along with a filing fee and any documentation required with your citizenship application.
- You receive a notice from USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) that your N-400 form was received. Make note of the personal number listed on this notification, as you can use it to check the status of your application going forward.
- You receive a biometrics notice, informing you when you should appear for a biometrics appointment. At this appointment, USCIS takes your fingerprints and photo for purposes of a background check.
- A naturalization interview at the USCIS office closest to your residence will be scheduled for you.
- At the interview, you will be tested on your ability to speak, read, and write in English. At this time, you will also take a test on United States history and civics. A USCIS officer reviews your form N-400 application and supporting documentation with you to confirm your information. Your naturalization lawyer is permitted to accompany you to this interview. You will find out right away at the interview if you passed your tests and are being recommended for citizenship approval.
- You receive an oath notice in the mail. This tells you when and where your swearing-in ceremony will occur. It is at the swearing-in ceremony that you officially become a US citizen.
If you are 50 years of age or older when filing a citizenship application, and if you have lived in the US for 20 years or more, you do not have to take the English language test. Likewise, you do not have to take the test if you are over 55 at the time of filing and have been a permanent resident for 15 years or longer.
If you are exempted from the English test, you must still take the civics test, but you can take it in your native language. You must bring an interpreter with you to the interview.
If you are over 65 when filing for citizenship and have been a green card holder for at least 20 years, you may be exempted from both the English and the history/civics test.
If you have cognitive disabilities preventing you from effectively learning, you may be exempted from both the English and history/civic test.
Why Should You Hire A San Jose Citizenship Attorney to Help with Naturalization?
Many scams prey on immigrants eager to obtain citizenship. However, only certain parties, including citizenship attorneys in good standing, are permitted to help you with immigration and citizenship services.
With so much riding on obtaining US citizenship, it makes sense to hire a citizenship attorney to help with the process and make sure you do not make any mistakes. An error on your green card application or a criminal charge in the meantime could mean you could not only be denied US citizenship but deported back to your country of origin.
Contact Us And Speak With An Experienced Citizenship Attorney in San Jose!
Don’t risk trying to get citizenship for yourself or a family member by doing it all yourself. Contact the law offices of Yemi Getachew today at 408-292-7995 or get in touch online to schedule your consultation as soon as possible.