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Talk to a Glendale Lawyer About Applying for U.S. Citizenship

If you were born in another country and residing legally with a Green Card in the United States for five years or more (in some cases 3 years or more), gaining U.S. citizenship can be the final – and most valuable – step in a long journey. Form N-400 is your application for U.S. citizenship. These applications must be filled out correctly, thoroughly, and include all required documentation.

Many people choose to get the help of an immigration lawyer to file Form N-400, as any error, missing documentation, or other issue will result in a long delay, or a denial. At Aratta Law Firm in Glendale, our immigration attorney can assist you through this important process to ensure your application has a higher chance of success, with fewer delays. You can reach us directly by calling at (818) 550-1111.

      

Form N-400 – How to File

You will be required to collect all required documents that prove you are eligible to seek U.S. citizenship. The supporting documentation is extensive, and includes but is not limited to:

  • If you are represented by an immigration attorney, Form G-28 must be completed and submitted so your lawyer can represent you with USCIS.
  • If your name has changed and no longer matches the name on your Green Card, you must submit the court document in which the name change occurred, whether a divorce decree, marriage certificate, or court document regarding the name change.
  • If your citizenship application is based on marriage, you must submit evidence that your spouse has held U.S. citizenship for at least three years, which may be a birth certificate, Certificate of Naturalization, Certificate of Citizenship, the side front cover and signature page of your spouse’s Passport. Also, you will need to prove that you have been married and residing with your U.S. Citizen spouse for at least 3 years and you have been a Green Card holder (permanent resident) status for at least 3 years.
  • You may need to file Form FS-240, a Report of Birth Abroad of a Citizen of the United States of America.
  • Your marriage certificate.
  • Final divorce decrees of any prior marriages, annulments, or death certificate if your spouse died.
  • Documents related to your marriage that name both you and your spouse, including tax returns, leases, mortgages, your children’s birth certificates or certified copies of income tax forms for the past three years, or an IRS tax return transcript for those years.
  • If you have been arrested or detained by law enforcement for any reason, without charges filed, you need to provide an original official statement from the agency that arrested you to confirm no charges were filed.
  • If you have ever had charges filed against you, you must submit the arrest record and any other information including dismissal, conviction, or acquittal record.
  • If you have ever had an arrest or conviction vacated, sealed, expunged, or removed from your record by any other means, you must submit an original statement from the court that no record exists regarding an arrest or conviction.
  • If you have any overdue taxes owing the IRS or state tax authorities, you must submit a copy of your repayment agreement with those agencies, along with a statement from the tax agency regarding your repayment history.

Some applicants, such as those who are seeking citizenship based on military service will have additional requirements. Those with a qualifying medical condition must submit form N-648 along with the application.

     

After You File – How Long is the Wait?

Seeking U.S. citizenship is a long and complex process and involves a significant waiting period. Generally, you can expect the processing time to take from eight to twelve months. The length of time it takes will reflect the quantity of applications at your local USCIS field office. You can start the process 90 days before your three or five-year Green Card expiration date, to move your case forward as quickly as possible.

Filing your application is just the first step in applying for your citizenship. If you are unfamiliar with the process – as most people are – you could unintentionally make errors, as simple as using blue rather than black ink, leading to a long delay. Any error or lack of supporting documents required could lead to the denial of your application for citizenship. You may choose to engage an immigration attorney to ensure your application is submitted correctly, and to track its progress through the system, serving as your legal support and guide.

Contact Aratta Law Firm today regarding your applications to file U.S. citizenship. You can reach us at (818) 550-1111.