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Chicago Naturalization Lawyers

Are you a green card holder who is ready to become a naturalized citizen of the United States? A Chicago naturalization lawyer at Freedom Immigration can guide you through the naturalization process to help ensure your success. 

Our immigration attorneys will determine your eligibility, assemble your documentation, and prepare you for the interview and history test required for U.S. citizenship. Whether you are a first-time applicant, or your application was denied, hiring our law firm for citizenship and immigration services will significantly improve your chances of approval. Our legal team has helped thousands of foreign nationals realize their dream of American citizenship.

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Begin your path to obtaining citizenship. Contact a naturalization lawyer at Freedom Immigration for a free consultation. Call (224) 588-3536

Table of Contents :

What Is Naturalization?

Naturalization is the process by which a person who was born outside the United States can become a U.S. citizen (obtain American citizenship). Immigration law holds that, if you are at least 18 years old, and you meet the eligibility requirements, you may qualify for naturalization. 

What Are Eligibility Requirements for U.S. Citizenship?

United States citizenship is available through the naturalization process if you:

  • Have permanent residency status (are a valid green card holder) and you have maintained continuous residence in the United States for at least five years, or
  • Are married to a United States citizen, and lived in the United States for a minimum of three years since becoming a permanent resident.
  • Have been physically present in the United States for at least half of the last three or five years.
  • Have filed required income tax returns and paid any taxes due.
  • Are a permanent resident, and you serve in the United States military.
  • Are married to a United States citizen who is getting transferred out of the country by the U.S. armed forces, a government agency, or a multinational company.

To become a U.S. citizen, you must also have good moral character, be able to read, write, and speak English, know the basics about the United States government and history, and be willing to take the Oath of Allegiance. A citizenship lawyer at Freedom Immigration in Chicago can explain more about what is required for naturalization.

Applying for Naturalization

You will need to complete Form N-400 to apply for naturalization. Although the 21-page application is designed to be straightforward, completing it correctly is not always an easy task. You will need to include photos, evidence to support your eligibility for U.S. citizenship, and various other types of documentation.

Inaccurate or incomplete applications will face processing delays and other complications. Even simple mistakes or using the wrong color of ink on a paper application could cause your application to be denied. 

Our naturalization lawyers can help you prepare your application to ensure there are no errors, all necessary documentation is included, and the application is complete.

Attending the Biometrics Appointment

All applicants must be fingerprinted and photographed prior to USCIS scheduling their citizenship interview. This enables the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to conduct background checks. In some cases, USCIS uses fingerprints and photographs on file to conduct background checks. Other times, new biometrics will be required. You will receive a notice either way.

If you receive a notice that includes your biometrics appointment, it is vital that you attend and submit your fingerprints and photographs. Failing to do so will cause processing delays or a denial of your application. After your background checks have been completed and all other preliminary processes are finished, your citizenship interview will be scheduled. 

How to Prepare for the U.S. Citizenship Interview

Many of our clients have stated that they are nervous about completing the U.S. citizenship interview. Since this interview plays an important role in the application process and your path to citizenship, it is understandable that you might feel anxious, or even a bit afraid.

When you hire an experienced immigration lawyer at Freedom Immigration to guide you through the process to obtain citizenship, our law firm will prepare you and your family members for your interview with a USCIS immigration officer in advance. We will advise you on what to expect from the interview, and the best way to answer questions about why you are seeking U.S. citizenship.

Preparing for Your United States Government and History Test

During your interview, you will also be required to complete and pass a basic English, United States government, and history test, unless you are exempt. The English test includes three components: reading, writing, and speaking. The government and history test includes 10 questions about history, government, and politics. You must get at least six questions right on the civics test to pass.

At Freedom Immigration, our Chicago immigration attorneys help clients prepare for the U.S. civics test, significantly improving your chances of success. In fact, a citizenship lawyer from our law office can even accompany the foreign national to the test. Our experienced attorneys take pride in watching clients like you become proud United States citizens.

What to Expect After the Interview

Sometimes, the officer will provide immigrants with an answer on their application as soon as the interview process is complete. In some cases, however, additional documentation or a second interview will be required. Applications may be continued when applicants fail the English or civics tests. If this is the case for you, USCIS will ask you to return within 60–90 days, so they can retest you on only the test you failed. If you fail the test(s) a second time, your application will be denied.

Taking the Oath of Allegiance

If your application is approved, you will be required to take the Oath of Allegiance to the United States before you are deemed a U.S. citizen. Sometimes, people can take the oath during a ceremony that is held the same day as their interview. If that’s not the case for you, USCIS will send you a notice that includes the time, date, and location of your oath ceremony. Since you are not a United States citizen until you’ve taken the oath, your attendance at the ceremony is vital. After you have taken the oath, you will receive your Certificate of Naturalization. 

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What to Do if Your Application for U.S. Citizenship Is Denied

If you fail the required tests more than once, or evidence indicates that you do not meet other eligibility requirements, your application for U.S. citizenship will be denied. Approximately 10% of applicants are denied citizenship each year. If your application is denied, you will receive a notification explaining the reason(s) why. If you believe the adverse decision was made in error, or your application was incorrectly denied, a Chicago immigration lawyer can help you appeal.

We will need to file Form N-336, Request for a Hearing on a Decision in Naturalization Proceedings, within 30 days of the decision date. Otherwise, the denial decision on your citizenship case will be final.

During the hearing, another USCIS officer will review your initial application and your citizenship case. He or she may also subject you to additional English or civics testing. The new officer will then reaffirm the denial or revoke it. 

Need Help with Naturalization Problems?

Sometimes, an immigrant may face a variety of challenges when trying to become a United States citizen. Because of this, some people are intimidated about applying. Some of the obstacles immigrants can face include:

  • Criminal history
  • Warrants
  • Errors in your Application for Naturalization, Form N-400
  • Mistakes with your green card
  • Incomplete documentation

If you have a criminal background, or you have residency or visa issues that could lead to your citizenship application getting rejected, Freedom Immigration can help. Our immigration lawyers will explain your options and work with you to overcome obstacles that might otherwise prevent you from achieving your dreams. Additionally, you can trust our attorneys to advise clients when it would be in their best interest not to apply for naturalization because of the possibility of deportation or involuntary removal.

FAQs About Obtaining United States Citizenship

Can I apply again if my citizenship application was denied?

In most cases, applicants can reapply if their citizenship applications get denied. Whether you can apply again, however, depends on the reason(s) for the denial. If your application was denied because you failed to meet eligibility requirements, you can reapply once you have satisfied them. If you received a denial because of failed English or civics tests, you can also reapply. You will need to pay an additional filing fee each time you submit Form N-400, however. If your application was denied because you broke immigration laws or criminal laws, you are not eligible to reapply. A Chicago immigration attorney can help you determine whether you should reapply.  

Will I lose my green card if my naturalization application is denied?

Most people whose citizenship applications are denied do not lose their green cards. Examples include people who received denials because they applied too early, did not pass the English or civics test, or failed to satisfy residency requirements. If your application was denied because you committed crimes, abandoned your green card, or broke U.S. immigration laws, however, you are at risk of losing your green card. 

Why are people denied U.S. citizenship?

People are denied U.S. citizenship for various reasons. The most common grounds for denial include:

  • Failing the English or Civics Test
  • Failing to meet the residency requirements
  • Failure to demonstrate good moral character

In some cases, naturalization applications are denied because people lie on their applications, obtain their green cards through fraudulent means, or fail to provide required documentation. 

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