Davis & Associates provide expert legal counsel in all aspects of immigration law. We provide legal services to Houston and surrounding areas, including Pasadena, The Woodlands, Sugarland, and more. Our team of astute lawyers are proficient at handling immigration cases related to green card applications, naturalization, permanent residence, business immigration law, temporary work visas, deportation defense, employer compliance, among many others.
Applying for citizenship in Houston can be a complex, often times confusing, process. Your Houston immigration attorneys will be an invaluable asset to you, guiding you every step of the way.
Applying for U.S. citizenship, also referred to as naturalization, is the process in which a foreign national seeks citizenship by meeting all necessary requirements set forth by the Immigration and Nationality Act. There are several steps in the application process, and it is imperative that all steps be performed correctly, or it can cause significant delays and even dismissal of your application. The application process has several steps:
- Determine if you qualify for citizenship
- Determine if you meet all the requirements to apply for citizenship
- Prepare and submit the N-400 application to the USCIS
- Schedule biometric screening
- Attend the scheduled interview
- Await decision
- Take the Oath of Allegiance
To determine whether you are qualified for U.S. citizenship, you must meet certain qualifications. Those qualifications are:
- You have been a permanent resident in the U.S. for the last 5 years, or
- You are the spouse of a U.S. citizen and have been a permanent resident in the U.S. for the last 3 years, or
- You have qualifying service in the U.S. military, or
- You are a child of a U.S. citizen and were born outside of the U.S., and currently reside outside the U.S.
Once you have determined that you are qualified to apply for U.S. citizenship, the next step is to ensure that you meet the necessary requirements to apply for U.S. citizenship. Those requirements are:
- You must be at least 18 years of age
- You must be a lawful permanent resident
- You must be a resident and have been physically present in the U.S. for 30 months of the last 5 years
- You must have lived at your current address for the last 3 months
- You must have good moral character
- You must read, write and speak basic English
- You support the principles and ideas of the U.S. Constitution
- You must have a basic understanding of U.S. history and civics
Prepare and Submit Application
If you have established that you meet the criteria to move forward with your application, you must start gathering and preparing your documents. These documents will help demonstrate that you are eligible for citizenship. Examples of such documents are, but are not limited to, photocopy of your green card, photographs with Alien Registration Number, birth certificate, marriage certificate, tax records, mortgage papers, etc. In addition to documentation, you will be required to pay all fees associated with the application. This is when a Houston immigration attorney will be most beneficial to you. The attorney knows exactly what documents are necessary and how to complete and submit full U.S. citizenship applications in Houston on your behalf.
The USCIS will notify you, if necessary, regarding your biometric screening. It will provide an appointment date, time and location. You need to make arrangements to have this biometric screening performed.
Interview with USCIS
Once the preliminary processes are complete with your application, you will be scheduled for an interview with the USCIS. You will receive an appointment notice with the date and time.
The USCIS will send you a written notice of the decision. There are 3 possible outcomes:
- Granted: The USCIS may approve your application if you submitted sufficient evidence of your eligibility of U.S. citizenship
- Continued: The USCIS may continue your application process if you need to provide additional documentation; have failed to provide sufficient documents to prove your eligibility; or fail the English/civics test the first time
- Denied: The USCIS may deny your application if you have failed to prove your eligibility for U.S. citizenship
Oath of Allegiance
If the USCIS has approved your application, you will receive notification to take the Oath of Allegiance at a naturalization ceremony. You are not a citizen until you take this Oath. You will fill out additional paperwork, turn in your green card, and receive your Certificate of Naturalization.
If you or a loved one are considering applying for U.S. citizenship, the attorneys of Davis & Associates are capable, qualified legal experts here to assist you along the journey. Call our offices today for a consultation regarding your citizenship application process.