New Orleans

Naturalization Attorney

Naturalization Attorney - New Orleans Immigration Lawyers - Pelton Balducci

Becoming a U.S. citizen is a dream for many immigrants, but the application for U.S citizenship via naturalization can be challenging.

The Department of Homeland Security assesses each candidate’s entire immigration record in order to determine eligibility. 

Becoming a U.S. citizen is a dream for many immigrants, but the application for U.S citizenship via naturalization can be challenging.

The Department of Homeland Security assesses each candidate’s entire immigration record in order to determine eligibility. 

Pelton + Balducci provides representation in naturalization cases to immigrants throughout Louisiana desiring to become United States citizens.

We have helped hundreds of immigrants achieve naturalization, and we are dedicated to standing by our values and doing everything we can to help you and your loved ones realize your American Dream.

“It was a great experience to work with Carol Pelton. She helped me to get my naturalization. Not only is she knowledgeable about immigration laws, but also criminal laws. I will work with her again in the next few months to petition my wife. I would recommend her to anybody who's having troubles with immigration services.”
- Anonymous

We have helped hundreds of immigrants achieve naturalization, and we are dedicated to standing by our values and doing everything we can to help you and your loved ones realize your American Dream.

“It was a great experience to work with Carol Pelton. She helped me to get my naturalization. Not only is she knowledgeable about immigration laws, but also criminal laws. I will work with her again in the next few months to petition my wife. I would recommend her to anybody who's having troubles with immigration services.”
- Anonymous

Benefits of Naturalization

In addition to being able to proudly announce your U.S. citizenship, naturalization comes with many other benefits, as well.
These include:
  • The ability to vote in U.S. elections
  • The ability to bring family members to the United States (while other green card holders can petition to bring family members, citizens generally get priority)
  • The ability to get a U.S. passport
  • The ability to have federal jobs
  • The ability to run for office
  • The ability to register your foreign-born children as U.S. citizens

The Naturalization Process

People who are not U.S. citizens at birth may become U.S. citizens through a process called naturalization. The process involves several steps and will vary from case to case.

1.

First, you must determine whether you are eligible to apply for citizenship. If you are unsure, our naturalization attorneys are available to help you with this process.

[It is important to note that the amount of time required as a lawful permanent resident prior to applying for naturalization depends on the particular facts in each applicant’s case, such as how an applicant became a lawful resident. Some special rules apply and certain applicants may be eligible for expedited naturalization.]

2.

Once it is determined that you are in fact eligible, you will then need to fill out and submit Form N-400, Application for Naturalization.

3.

Along with this form, you will also need to submit several other supporting documents such as a photocopy of your Permanent Resident Card, any arrest records, evidence of Selective Service registration, if applicable, etc.

4.

After you submit your application, you will receive a receipt and may periodically check the status of your application.

3.

Along with this form, you will also need to submit several other supporting documents such as a photocopy of your Permanent Resident Card, any arrest records, evidence of Selective Service registration, if applicable, etc.

4.

After you submit your application, you will receive a receipt and may periodically check the status of your application.

5.

Once your application is processed, an interview will be scheduled on your behalf, and you will need to complete an examination. As part of the naturalization examination by USCIS, an applicant must demonstrate knowledge of the English language and pass a test pertaining to the history and government of the United States. Each applicant is provided with two opportunities to pass the English and Civics exams. Study guides to aid in preparation for the naturalization exam are available on the USCIS website. Local resources, such as naturalization preparation classes, also exist in many areas and can normally be found at local colleges and/or non-profit organizations and community centers.

6.

Following the interview and successful completion of the examination, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service will then notify you of their final decision.

There are four potential outcomes in citizenship cases:

  • They will grant you citizenship,
  • Ask for additional documentation,
  • Require a re-examination if you do not pass the English and Civics exam on the first attempt, or
  • Send you a denial.

If your request is granted, you are then required to take an Oath of Allegiance to the United States in order to finalize the naturalization process.

What Are the Requirements for Becoming a U.S. Citizen?

There are several ways to qualify for naturalization. The first qualification is to be a lawful permanent resident of the United States (green card holder).

If you have your green card, you could be eligible to apply for naturalization if:

  • You are at least 18 years old;
  • You have been a permanent resident in the United States for five years or more;
  • You are the spouse of a current citizen and have been a permanent resident for at least three years; or
  • You have honorably served in the United States Armed Forces, in which case your naturalization may be expedited.

Once all requirements are met, the process takes about 6 months to a year from the time you apply to obtain citizenship. These timeline estimates often change, however.

What Can Prevent Me from Obtaining Citizenship?

The naturalization process is a lengthy one and a thorough one, and there are some elements that can create problems for your application.
Some of these issues include: 
  • Arrests or unresolved criminal issues
  • Inconsistencies or fraud in previous immigration applications
  • Extended absences from the United States while a lawful permanent resident
  • Inability to pass the English language or the civics exam
  • Unpaid taxes

The USCIS will fully review your background and immigration record. For this reason, it is vital to work with a naturalization attorney who can help ensure your application does not have any inconsistent or incomplete information that can cause delay or rejection.

Exception to English, Civics Exams Available in Some Cases.

For applicants who have been lawful permanent residents for many years and are over the age of 50, some exceptions to the requirement to take the full exam apply.
Also, if an applicant has a medical condition that prevents them from learning English or new material, a medical disability waiver may be available so that the health condition (for example, alzheimer’s) does not prevent them from becoming a U.S. citizen if they are otherwise eligible.

Contact a New Orleans naturalization attorney today

If you meet the eligibility requirements and are interested in going through the naturalization process, contact Pelton + Balducci today at (504) 708-5400 to schedule a consultation. Our entire team is fluent in Spanish, and we also work with translators when necessary. We look forward to working with you.

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