The decision to seek United States citizenship is life-altering. Immigrants can only become citizens through naturalization, but not all immigrants are eligible to naturalize, and determining eligibility and filing the appropriate forms can be overwhelming. If you are interested in becoming a citizen, it is wise to hire an attorney to help you with the process. At O’Neil & Hauser P.C., our trusted Boston immigration attorneys take pride in helping people to gain citizenship via naturalization, and if you hire us, we will work tirelessly on your behalf. Each of our attorneys has more than two decades of experience handling immigration matters, and immigration makes up over ninety percent of our practice. Our office is located in Boston, and we aid people with immigration issues around the world.Eligibility for Naturalization
People who are naturalized become United States citizens. They must not only agree to accept the obligations imposed on all citizens, including the duty to uphold the Constitution, they are also granted all of the privileges and rights that come along with citizenship.
Naturalization is not available to all immigrants, however. Instead, people may only naturalize if they meet the eligibility requirements. Specifically, they must be at least eighteen years old and must live in the United States for a continuous duration prior to filing their applications for naturalization. A lengthy departure from the United States may break the continuousness of an immigrant’s residence for purposes of naturalization.
People who have been permanent residents for five years may qualify for naturalization if they meet all other eligibility requirements. Permanent residents who meet the requirements for filing as a spouse of a United States citizen may be eligible for naturalization after only three years, while people who served in the United States military and meet other eligibility requirements are not subject to a time requirement. Children may be eligible for naturalization in certain situations as well.The Naturalization Process
A person who wants to apply for naturalization must file the appropriate form and must submit any necessary fees, as well as copies of his or her green card and color photos that abide by United States passport style along with the application. The applicant may be required to submit additional documents as well, depending on his or her individual circumstances.
Once an individual’s application is submitted, an interview will be scheduled at the nearest United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) office. During the interview, an immigration officer will review the information set forth in the application and ask the applicant questions. The officer will also determine if the applicant has the ability to read, write, and speak English via written and oral examinations, as such capabilities are required for naturalization.
The applicant must also possess a basic understanding and knowledge of the structure of the United States government and history and must sit for a test evaluating their knowledge. Finally, the applicant has to demonstrate he or she has good moral character and will be loyal to the principles of the Constitution. Based on the results of the interview, the officer will determine whether to deny or approve the application. If it is approved, the applicant will become a United States citizen.Meet With a Proficient Boston Immigration Attorney
United States citizenship comes with many benefits, but obtaining citizenship can be an arduous process. If you are an immigrant and wish to obtain citizenship, you should meet with an attorney to determine whether you may be eligible for naturalization. The Boston natualization lawyers of O’Neil & Hauser P.C. are proficient at handling immigration issues, and if you engage our services, we can aid you in seeking your desired outcome as efficiently as possible. Many of our lawyers are bilingual, and we offer translation services in several languages, including Portuguese, Spanish, Cantonese, Mandarin, Greek, Italian, French, and Arabic. We are members of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, and we have developed a strong relationship with numerous government agencies over the years, which benefits our clients. You can contact us to set up a meeting via our form online or by calling us at our Boston office at (617) 426-8100.