Citizenship & Naturalization

Austin Naturalization & Citizenship Attorney

Helping Clients in Texas & Beyond Obtain U.S. Citizenship

As an immigrant to the U.S. who lives and works here, you may dream of one day becoming a U.S. citizen. Citizenship provides many benefits, from allowing you to vote, travel with a U.S. passport, apply for federal jobs and government benefits, and more.

It also gives you the right to remain in this country without the threat of being deported, except for rare situations of denaturalization. There have been many changes to the naturalization application and with heightened government scrutiny a seemingly minor situation could transform into case that could be denied for failing to mention something as simple as a previous contact with an immigration official or trips abroad for more than one day.

Choose Our Austin Citizenship Lawyers

At Zavala Law, PLLC, we are deeply familiar with the citizenship and naturalization processes. We can provide the guidance you need every step of the way to handle any challenges that may arise. When you need experienced legal counsel to help you through the citizenship and naturalization process, contact our Texas law firm today.

Want to become a citizen in the United States? Contact our Austin naturalization and citizenship attorney at (512) 488-3970 for help in pursuing your citizenship dream.

How the Naturalization Process Works

In order to become a U.S. citizen, you will have to complete all required steps as laid out under U.S. immigration law. Only those who are eligible may apply.

To be eligible for the naturalization process, you must fall into one of the following statuses:

  • You have maintained lawful permanent resident status (green card holder) for a period of at least five years.
  • If married to a U.S. citizen, you have maintained lawful permanent resident status (green card holder) for at least three years.
  • One or both of your parents were U.S. citizens when you were born abroad.
  • Your spouse or your parent is a member of the U.S. military.
  • You are a member of the U.S. military or you are veteran with an honorable discharge (some restrictions may apply).

The naturalization process for anyone who is eligible then requires the following:

  • You must have resided in the state where you apply for at least three months prior to your application.
  • You must be at least 18 years of age.
  • Prior to applying you must have maintained a physical presence in the U.S. for a minimum of 30 months during the previous five years.
  • During the last five years (or three years for those who qualify as a spouse of a U.S. citizen) you have not taken a trip outside of the U.S. that lasted for a year or longer.
  • You must be able to read, speak, and write basic English.
  • You have learned and know the basics of U.S. history as well as the principles and formation of the U.S. government (known as civics).
  • You have been a person of good moral character during the years prior to your application. This means avoiding any criminal charges or poor moral behavior. Specific criminal convictions will disqualify you for naturalization. Trying to hide these will likely also disqualify you. It is best never to falsify any information on an immigration application.
  • You agree with and support the U.S. Constitution.
  • You understand and are willing to take an oath of allegiance to the United States.

Naturalization Requirements

The naturalization process involves other requirements as well involving the submission of various documents, from immigration forms to copies of your own personal documents, such as green cards, marriage certificates, photographs, and more.

You will also be required to attend an interview with an immigration official where you will be asked questions and your documentation will be reviewed. Biometrics (fingerprints, photos, and signature) will also be required during the process.

Can I Apply for Naturalization if I Have a Criminal Record?

Naturalization can be complicated if you have a criminal record, but it is not necessarily a disqualifier. Several factors are taken into account by USCIS when determining the eligibility of someone with a criminal record for naturalization. They consider whether you have completed any sentences, probation, or parole. Additionally, they will also consider whether you have changed your behavior and demonstrated exemplary moral character since committing the offense. Applicants with certain criminal histories may face additional scrutiny or even inadmissibility. These crimes include drug trafficking, firearms offenses, or crimes involving moral turpitude.

Contact Zavala Law, PLLC Today!

Our team is here to assist you throughout the immigration process. We understand the requirements and unique stipulations in cases of naturalization and citizenship and can help you and your family understand your rights and what conditions may apply to your specific circumstances. If you have questions and need help navigating the immigration process, don't hesitate to reach out to our experienced team of legal professionals.

Related Readings:

Contact us online or reach out to us at (512) 488-3970 for experienced immigration legal help from a naturalization and citizenship lawyer near you.

How Zavala Law, PLLC Can Help You

The citizenship application (called an N-400) is your ticket to the naturalization process which will go through the Department of Homeland Security. You will not want to make any errors on this application or on the steps you will be required to take throughout naturalization. Our firm is here to help you fill out and submit the application properly and to help you prepare for all of the other steps you will go through along the way. We are here to help you avoid any pitfalls, overcome any obstacles, and to give you the best chance of citizenship success.

Hablamos Español

Our team is fluent in Spanish. We want you to understand every step of your case. We will make sure that nothing is lost in translation.

Let Us Help You & Your Loved Ones With Your Immigration Case

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