The naturalization process, or becoming a United States citizen, can often be tedious and difficult. If there is criminal history involved the process can become even more detailed, maybe necessitating an attorney to write a brief explaining complicated case law in support of your application.

You must meet many requirements, including age, status, residency, moral character, and more. You will also have to undergo background checks, an interview, and a basic knowledge test. An immigration lawyer can help you with applying for naturalization and the citizenship process and assist you in preparing for your interview, including putting together a document package for the officer.

In order to qualify for naturalization, you must:

  • Be at least 18 years old;
  • Have been a green card holder, or legal permanent resident, for at least five years;
  • Have been a green card holder, or legal permanent resident, AND married to a U.S. citizen for at least three years;
  • Meet physical residency requirements;
  • Prove that you have good moral character;
  • Be able to read, write, and speak English;
  • Prove that you have a basic knowledge of U.S. history, government, and civics;
  • Be loyal to the principles of the U.S. Constitution.
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There are many benefits of going through the naturalization process and becoming a United States citizen. You may want to become a U.S. citizen for your own set of reasons. Some of those benefits may include the following:

  • Being able to vote;
  • Being able to serve on a jury;
  • Becoming an elected official;
  • Employment opportunities not available to noncitizens, such as federal jobs with the U.S. government or military;
  • Maintaining a U.S. passport;
  • Qualifying for certain public benefits or stimulus packages;
  • Obtaining financial aid for educational opportunities;
  • Bringing family members from your birth country to the United States;
  • Showing patriotism.

In return for these benefits, you will have a new set of responsibilities as a U.S. citizen. You must also support and defend the U.S. Constitution and laws of the United States. You may also be called to serve the country when required.

Yes, you will swear allegiance to the United States, but a U.S. citizen may naturalize in a foreign state or country without any risk to his or her U.S. citizenship – this is called dual citizenship. Confirm with your attorney if dual citizenship is applicable to you.


If you feel that you meet all of the requirements necessary to become a U.S. citizen, then you should speak with an immigration lawyer who handles citizenship and naturalization applications. An attorney can review your qualifications and specific history in order to help determine if there are any red flags that might delay your citizenship application or result in a denial.

If misfiled, your application may be delayed or denied if you:

  • Have a criminal history;
  • Have unpaid taxes;
  • Are past due on child support or alimony;
  • Have unsatisfied judgments;
  • Have traveled outside of the United States for several extended periods of time.

Although these situations could present a problem, an immigration lawyer who handles citizenship and naturalization applications can help you overcome many, if not all, challenges. You may need to explain your situation in an interview or satisfy certain deficiencies prior to filing your application. An attorney can review your circumstances and help you take the proper steps to prepare for naturalization.

The process of becoming a U.S. citizen can be complex. It is often detailed. It requires many steps that involve knowledge of U.S. laws to determine if you qualify for citizenship. However, naturalization can be worth it when you take on the benefits and responsibilities as a United States citizen.

If you’re serious about obtaining your American Citizenship, we are here to help you…
Let’s schedule your Legal Strategy and Planning Session today.