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FAQ

Immigration

The time it takes to be naturalized varies by location. USCIS is continuing to modernize and improve the naturalization process and would like to decrease the time it takes to an average of 6 months after the Form N-400 is filed.

The naturalization process requires that they apply for U.S. residency, live in the United States for at least five years, and then complete the citizenship application process, which can take up to a year. They will then need to take a citizenship test and be sworn in as a United States citizen.

You are still a permanent resident, even if your green card has expired. On that basis, many people have chosen to simply apply for U.S. citizenship after their green card has expired, or not bother to renew the green card if it expires while they’re waiting for a USCIS decision on their citizenship application.

Assuming that you already are a permanent resident and have established residency in the United States for the required amount of time, the actual US citizenship application process can take between six months to year, or even more. To begin the citizenship process, you will need to file USCIS form N-400.

You don’t have to wait until you’ve had a green card for five years to apply for citizenship through the process known as naturalization, as you would in most other cases. Assuming you stay married to and living with your U.S. citizen spouse the whole time, you can apply for citizenship three years after obtaining a green card.

Once you have established your eligibility, you need to file some paperwork with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The N-400 is the form to get the process started. As of 2015, it cost $595 to file the application for naturalization, plus an $85 biometrics fee.

Asylum may be granted to people who are already in the United States and are unable or unwilling to return their home country because of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.

The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) provides in Section 208(d)(5) that the initial interview for asylum applications filed on or after April 1, 1997 should take place within 45 days after the date the application is filed, and a decision should be made on the asylum application within 180 days after the date the application is filed, unless there are exceptional circumstances. Unfortunately, in recent years the system has become so backlogged that it is now often taking several years to process an asylum application.

If you receive a deportation order or notification, the first thing you must do is contact a knowledgeable immigration attorney at our firm, who will work with you closely to build your deportation defense. You need an attorney who understands and is skilled in all aspects of immigration law.

A lawful permanent resident is a foreign national who has been granted the privilege of permanently living and working in the United States. If you want to become a lawful permanent resident based on the fact that you have a relative who is a citizen of the United States or is a lawful permanent resident, your relative in the United States will need to sponsor you and prove he/she has enough income or assets to support you, the intending immigrant(s) when in the United States.

Based on your approved petition, your spouse and minor unmarried children, younger than 21, may apply for immigrant visas with you. Like you, they must also fill out required application forms, obtain required civil documents, pay the required fees, and undergo medical examinations. Same-sex spouses of U.S. citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs), along with their minor children, are now eligible for the same immigration benefits as opposite-sex spouses. Consular officers at U.S. Embassies and Consulates will adjudicate their immigrant visa applications upon receipt of an approved I-130 or I-140 petition from USCIS.

    1. Determine if you are already a U.S. citizen.
    2. Determine if you are eligible to become a U.S. citizen.
    3. Prepare your Form N-400, Application for Naturalization.
    4. Submit your Form N-400, Application for Naturalization.
    5. Go to the biometrics appointment, if applicable.
      Complete the interview.