Becoming a citizen of the United States is a dream for many people. Fortunately, proper understanding and planning will help you make this dream a reality. No matter how much time and effort you have put into your citizenship, certain situations and mistakes may cause your application to be denied. If you are currently in the process of applying for your US citizenship, here are a few mistakes you need to avoid.
Allowing Your Green Card to Expire
A green card does not make you a citizen of the United States, but it does mean you are a resident of the country. Unfortunately, green cards have expiration dates. Once the green card expires, you are not only not a resident any longer, but you are also not eligible to apply for your citizenship. Remember that you must have an up-to-date green card for at least 5 years before you can apply for citizenship.
Before submitting your application or even beginning the application process to become a citizen, you need to make sure your green card is up to date. Since the citizenship application takes a long period of time, you do not want the green card to expire during the review of the application. If you are approaching the expiration date, start the process to renew your green card immediately.
Not Having the Required Documents
The application for citizenship is very complex, meaning you will need to provide numerous documents that you may or may not have in your possession. To ensure your application is reviewed promptly and without a risk of denial, make sure to have all of the documents that have been requested.
Make copies of all documents, including your green card, so you have the originals in your possession. Then, you will be able to include copies with your application.
You will need to provide your green card, birth certificate, and marriage certificates if you are married. Also, color photographs that include your name and birthdate will also be necessary. If you have changed your name and are now going by a different legal name than what is found on your green card, you will need to provide the name-change documents with your application for citizenship.
Tax returns, pay stubs, and proof of residency, such as a lease agreement/proof of paying rent or mortgage statements with your name, may also be requested. You should have copies of tax returns for all the years you have been a resident of the United States.
Finally, you may be asked to provide additional documents once your application is submitted.
Not Hiring an Attorney
Even with proper planning and knowledge, the application for citizenship can be daunting and time consuming. Therefore, hiring an attorney may be a smart investment for your time and sanity.
If you do not speak English or if you are not familiar with local government buildings in your area, finding all of the documents and forms needed for the application can be overwhelming. An attorney can not only advise you on which documents you need to include in your application, but they can also help you locate and organize these documents in addition to helping you fill out your application.
There are no guarantees that your application for citizenship will be approved, but an attorney can help you avoid mistakes to make the process more efficient. Trusting the professionals will also improve your chances of having your application approved.
Research and hiring a professional are important steps to take before you begin the application process to become a citizen. This guide will help you get started so you can realize your dream of becoming a United States citizen. Contact immigration attorneys for additional advice.
The instant I first stepped onto American soil, I truly felt like I was at home. I didn't know what the future would hold for me, but I knew that the experience was special. I dedicated my life to staying in this country and making a life for myself, and it was really fascinating to see how much of a difference my environment made for me. I was able to learn more, do more, and succeed more than I would have been able to in my home country, and so I started talking with immigration attorneys to see how I could stay. Check out this blog for more information on making the USA your home.