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Documents To Show Your Attorney: Applying for Citizenship


Applying for U.S. citizenship is a multi-step process governed by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Understanding immigration law is helpful for those applying.

An essential part of the U.S. citizenship application is the completion of Form N-400. There are other requirements you need to submit to the USCIS.

This article will discuss the necessary documents to apply for U.S. citizenship. An immigration attorney can also help you navigate the process and help you secure the documents for your naturalization process to go as smoothly and expediently as possible.

Overview of the Naturalization Process

The naturalization process has several steps. They include:

  • Submission of the N-400 application
  • Paying the filing fee
  • Appearing for biometrics
  • Passing the civics test
  • Attending the citizenship interview
  • Taking an oath of allegiance

The applicants must also meet the eligibility requirements. They include:

  • Showing good moral character
  • Maintaining lawful permanent resident status
  • Fulfilling the physical presence required

The process can be complicated. It is best to consult an immigration attorney for legal advice. They can give you a personalized guide on navigating the immigration process.

The following is a checklist of documents that you might need to secure your certificate of citizenship:

____Permanent Resident Card (Green Card)

____Documents showing any name changes and explanations (e.g., if you reverted to your maiden name after your divorce, you must provide a copy of your divorce decree)

____If you are applying for naturalization based on marriage to a U.S. citizen, proof of your spouse's citizenship for the past three years, which may be in the form of:

  • A birth certificate
  • A passport
  • A naturalization certificate
  • Form FS240, "Report of Birth Abroad of a Citizen of the United States of America"

____Marriage certificate for your current marriage

____Proof of termination of all your and your spouse's previous marriages (e.g., divorce decrees, death certificates)

____Form N-426, "Request for Certification of Military or Naval Service"

____Status Information Letter from the Selective Service, if you did not register and are a male who lived in the United States between the ages of 18 and 26

____IRS Tax Form 1722, listing the past three to five years of tax information

____Copies of tax returns filed for the past three to five years

____Copies of correspondence with the Internal Revenue Service about any failure to file income tax returns

____A signed agreement from Internal Revenue Service or state or local tax authority showing repayment arrangements and that you paid

____Proof of maintenance of U.S. residence during trips abroad of six months or longer (e.g., signed lease, rent receipts, utility bills, etc.)

____Copies of orders for child or spousal support you must pay

____Evidence of compliance with spousal and child support orders (e.g., canceled checks, pay stubs showing automatic withholding, etc.)

____Copy of court disposition for any arrests or detentions by law enforcement officers or statements that no charges were filed

____Sentencing records for each conviction and evidence of satisfactory completion of the sentence(s)

____Court orders vacating, setting aside, expunging, or otherwise disposing of an arrest or conviction

____Form N-648, "Medical Certification for Disability Exceptions," which must be completed by a licensed physician or psychologist if you are claiming a disability exemption from the testing requirement

____Form G-28, "Notice of Entry of Appearance as Attorney or Representative"

Potential Challenges and Consequences

If an applicant doesn't follow immigration law, the naturalization process can be affected. At worst, the foreign national can face denial of the naturalization application or deportation. Thus, it is essential to fulfill the requirements provided by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

An applicant's common challenges are inadequate preparation and missing documents. Also, having a criminal history or issues with compliance can potentially affect the outcome of the application. To mitigate the possible consequences, it is best to seek an immigration lawyer to give you guidance tailored to your case.

Seek Legal Help

A green card holder seeking U.S. citizenship will benefit from the legal services of an experienced naturalization attorney. They will help you or your family member navigate the complexities of the application process.

A citizenship lawyer can also prepare you for the naturalization interview with a USCIS officer and guide you with the English and civics tests.

Disclaimer: This article serves as general information on the U.S. citizenship application. For more questions, it is best to talk to an experienced citizenship attorney near you. There are law offices in each state that you can visit before you begin the application process.

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Contact a qualified immigration attorney to help you get the best results possible.

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