Why hire a citizenship lawyer to apply for US citizenship?

Applying for US Citizenship

Are you interested in applying for American citizenship.? Some people apply for citizenship and wait for six months to discover at the naturalization interview that USCIS will deny their case because of a technical rule. As your family or employment may depend on the outcome of your application, it is important to get it right. This page is about the benefits of hiring a citizenship lawyer when you apply for US citizenship.

Immigration is a complex area of law that is often a trap for those who are not cautious. N-400 applications that focus on a form and ignore the law can put your future at risk. There are many complicated rules related to the naturalization process. Many people believe that if they have the required years of permanent residency and have no trouble with the law, then all they need to do is complete USCIS application form N-400 and study for the citizenship test. Many people, on the other hand, do not apply for naturalization when they are eligible and miss out on the rich rewards of US citizenship for themselves and their families.

What are some of the reasons people apply for naturalization?

The benefits of US citizenship include:

    1. Derivative citizenship for your children under 18;
    2. Obtain citizenship for minor children born abroad​;​
    3. As a citizen, you get priority service when you petition for your family to receive immigrant visas. A visa number is immediately available for your immediate relatives (spouse, parents, and children under 21). They do not have to wait in line for years because of annual quotas and numerical limits of the visa bulletin;
    4. Travel with a U.S. Passport​ and get visa-free travel to almost all countries in the world;
    5. Vote in Federal elections;
    6. Participate on a jury​;​
    7. Run for elective office where citizenship is required;
    8. Become eligible for federal and certain law enforcement jobs;
    9. Obtain certain State and Federal benefits not available to non-citizens​;​
    10. Live and work overseas (without losing your legal status in the US);
    11. Become eligible for federal and certain law enforcement jobs​;
    12. Security from deportation, and
    13. Showing your commitment/patriotism to America.

US Citizenship Lawyer Las Vegas - USCIS forms n-400

Three examples of persons who apply for US citizenship

A green card holder from Mexican had just moved from Texas to Nevada and was about to file for her citizenship. She believed that there were no issues in her case but sought a consultation for some reassurance. During the first consultation she discovered that despite her being a permanent resident for more than 5 years she was ineligible for citizenship at that time. Why? She had not been resident in Nevada, the state from which she would apply, for 3 months as required under INA 316(a)(1).

In another case, a woman from Mexico came to me wishing to apply for citizenship. An application of her facts to the law revealed that she had been a derivative citizen for the past twenty five years. Instead of applying for naturalization, she should have been applying for a US passport and a certificate of citizenship on application form N-600.

In a third case, a business person came to me after he had applied for citizenship on his own and the immigration officer urged him to withdraw his application. In the naturalization interview (without legal counsel) it was discovered that he had lied on his immigrant visa application many years ago. He had lied about an earlier entry or attempted unlawful entry into the United States as an adult. He had presented a fake US driver’s license and the birth certificate of a US citizen to a border patrol officer. The prospect was interested in appealing the case.

I told him that he should not appeal because he did not have a good faith basis to do so. In addition immigration or USCIS issue a Notice to Appear to start his deportation. Because he was not lawfully admitted as a permanent resident he was not eligible for citizenship under the current law. In that case it appeared that the immigration officer did not place him in removal after considering his favorable factors such as his family ties and employment history as a business owner in Las Vegas.

Be cautious when making n-400 form applications.

So the benefit of using a citizenship lawyer is getting the knowledge and practical experience of an attorney who is familiar with the complicated rules that govern US citizenship. Some people have traveled abroad, have failed to file taxes or have filed as non-residents. Others may have criminal convictions that could cause their case to be denied or expose them to risk of removal. Yet others may have lied on their green card application. It is reported that around 30 percent of people who are in removal get there by applying for citizenship without knowing the law. Immigration is about knowing the law or having someone who knows the law and is in your corner.

Seek guidance before you apply for naturalization

Before you apply for US citizenship, consult an attorney. If you need a US citizenship lawyer in Las Vegas, Henderson or North Las Vegas, give Goodin Law P.A. a call to schedule a consultation. Call (702) 423-2721 today or schedule an appointment online.

Gary Goodin, US citizenship lawyer Las Vegas Nevada

Naturalization Test Material