The Statue of Liberty may ask specifically for the poor tired and homeless, but it takes a little more than being exhausted and dejected to actually become an American citizen. In spite of the welcoming statues pleas for the impoverished, it actually costs $725 to even apply for citizenship to the United States. Wait times for citizenship have doubled in the last two years and the Trump administration has proposed legislation to tighten the immigration requirements.
What does the Government Require?
In order to become an American citizen a person must have permanently resided in the states for at least five years with a Green Card, be at least 18 years old and must have lived for three months in the state where they are applying. An applicant must be able to read, write, and speak in English and he or she must understand the constitution and be willing to abide by its laws.
Does Country of Origin Matter?
There are many countries that will not allow one to maintain dual citizenship. Some countries, such as Australia and Switzerland will allow a person to maintain dual citizenship for their entire life and others still put limits on how long one may be a citizen of two countries.
Ever since the Controlled Application Review and Resolution Program passed in 2008, it has been harder for immigrants from countries that have a large Muslim population. If you are from one of these countries, you can expect that they will research your background thoroughly and check your social media sites.
What may Prevent You from Becoming a Citizen
If you have ever lied to get a green card, you may be denied citizenship to the United States. You may also be denied naturalization if you have committed a crime or fail to pay taxes or child support. Failure to learn English or register for selective service may adversely affect the citizenship process.
Studying for a Citizenship Test
The citizenship test will assess a person’s knowledge of United States history, the law of the land and the principals on which they were based. The test has 100 questions and one must pass it before becoming an American. Most communities offer classes that will help applicants study for the test.
Finding a Good Lawyer
It is always the best idea to hire an attorney to help you with the naturalization process. If you are looking for an immigration lawyer in Florida, you will want to find someone who offers years of experience and has the resources to research your case thoroughly. Florida hosts a lot of people who want to become Americans, and there are many immigration attorneys in the state. Be sure your attorney has an excellent reputation online and is in good standing with the state bar. Preparation and adherence to the law and the process can make becoming a citizen a smooth and educational experience.