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Citizen Requirements

While United States citizenship is a dream for millions around the world, it is difficult to achieve without the help of a qualified immigration attorney. Experienced New Jersey immigration lawyers, the attorneys at the law firm of Helmer, Conley & Kasselman, PA are ready to effectively represent clients with immigration and citizenship issues in all 50 states.

Using a unique client-based approach, our immigration lawyers proudly help immigrants file citizenship applications throughout New Jersey, New York, PA, Maryland, and Delaware to make their dreams reality.

Requirements for citizenship

To become naturalized through a citizenship application, you must first possess a Permanent Resident Card (green card) establishing you as a permanent resident of the United States. Next, you must meet certain conditions:

  • Be at least 18 years old;
  • Live in the United States as a lawful permanent resident (have a green card) for at least five years immediately prior to applying;
  • Be physically present in the United States for 30 months of those five years;
  • Live for at least three months in the state or district where you are filing your application;
  • Reside in the U.S. continuously from the date of your naturalization application up to the date you are naturalized;
  • Possess good moral character;
  • Pass tests showing you can read, write, and speak English and correctly answer questions about U.S. history and government; as well as
  • Swear belief in the principles of the United States Constitution and loyalty to the United States.

Citizenship paperwork and application

Before you begin the application process, it is important to note that applying for citizenship opens your full immigration history to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).  You are fingerprinted and investigated by the FBI.  As your immigration attorneys in New Jersey, Helmer, Conley & Kasselman, PA can help you deal with open legal issues that may impact your application before you begin.

To apply for citizenship, an N-400 Application for Naturalization form must be correctly filled out and sent to the USCIS office designated for the state where you live. Along with your application, you must submit:

  • A photocopy of both sides of your Permanent Resident Card;
  • Two identical passport-style photos;
  • Other documents depending on the answers to certain questions;
  • Certified English translations of every document submitted in another language; and
  • Filing fees—currently $675 in total for most applicants.

If your application is incomplete, unsigned, or is considered unacceptable in any way, it is returned to you along with your filing fees.  It can be resubmitted, but this will add to acceptance time. You may wait several months before you are contacted to visit the local USCIS office for fingerprinting. An interview completes the process.

We have helped thousands of immigrants in NJ, and across the United States to correctly complete and submit their citizenship applications, and to prepare for the next step in the process—your interview.

The citizenship interview

At this interview, a USCIS officer tests your English language skills and knowledge of U.S. history. You are required to correctly read and write one sentence out of three in English, discuss your application, and answer six out of ten civics questions correctly. When you pass this test, you receive an appointment for swearing in as an official U.S. citizen.

Based in New Jersey, immigration lawyers at Helmer, Conley & Kasselman, PA can help you anywhere in the U.S.

Do you have questions about filing a citizenship application? Or questions about citizenship and immigration laws? A New Jersey immigration lawyer at our firm can help with all immigration and citizenship issues throughout the United States. If you wish to apply for citizenship in New Jersey, contact the law firm of Helmer, Conley & Kasselman PA today. We have a nationwide immigration practice and can guide you through the process wherever you live.

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