Naturalization is the process in which an immigrant in the United States applies for citizenship. While you may already know that, what a lot of people don’t know are the specific documents that will be asked of you when you go through the process. There are several steps to naturalization, which is why it usually takes years for immigrants to gain U.S. citizenship.
If you do not provide the necessary documents, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will not hesitate to turn down your application considering they have many others to go through. If you want to become naturalized as soon as possible, it is important that you know what you need to provide ahead of time. We provide a brief guide to help you know what you will need to give USCIS.
Proof of Identity
The first thing that USCIS will ask of you to provide is proof of identification. Although this might seem unnecessary by many, USCIS has gone through applications of false identification, so they ask for this just for security purposes. Whether you are applying within the United States or abroad, they will ask for a passport, driver’s license, or any other documents that prove your identity. Birth certificates are also encouraged if you are able to provide these documents as well.
Permanent Residency Status
Under U.S. immigration law, you have to have lived in the United States for five years as a legal permanent resident before you can even apply for U.S. citizenship. There is simply no way around it if you are applying for U.S. citizenship on your own. With that being said, USCIS will expect you to provide proof of your permanent residency status, also known as “green card holder.” You must be able to provide a front and back copy of your green card.
Current Marital Status
Marital status can play a major role in applying for citizenship because you can be sponsored by your spouse to become a resident, and then a citizen. Whether you have just married, have been married, or got married and divorced, you need to provide any and all documents that prove these marriages. You can provide marriage certificates, divorce decrees, annulment certificates, death certificates, and other official records that indicate you are single after having been married or a single status certificate.
Documentation of Any Medical Disabilities or Military Status
Some applicants may be exempt from taking the test for U.S. citizenship based on certain circumstances. Oftentimes, if you have a diagnosed disability, you might be eligible to be exempt from the test. For those that served in the military as a legal permanent resident, this can also help support the process and could make it easier for an individual to gain U.S. citizenship. These forms should be given as N-426 (medical) and N-648 (military status) documents.
A Fee Waiver Application
Applying for U.S. citizenship calls for specific costs and the exam itself is a separate cost. If you have been granted a fee waiver for the application, you will need to provide Form I-912 as proof. Even if you are not completely waived from costs, you might have been granted a fee-reduction application and this will come in the Form I-942 documentation. If you have these documents, it is important that you provide them as USCIS will ask for supporting documents.
Travel records will be asked for when you go to your naturalization interview. Looking into travel documents is solely to help USCIS understand when you immigrated, from where you were coming, and if you have gone back to your home country during the time you have been in the United States. You must bring your passport(s), current and expired, to this interview for USCIS to review and confirm.
Request for Representation During Naturalization Interview
Lastly, if you have requested to have a lawyer with you during your naturalization interview, you will need to fill out Form G-28 before the interview and have it sent to USCIS to allow the lawyer to lawfully accompany you.
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Getting started with the process can be difficult, but with the experienced immigration lawyer that Cynthia R. Lopez, P.C. is, you can confide in her and continue with your journey. Contact Cynthia R. Lopez today for a consultation.