BECOMING A UNITED STATES CITIZEN
The process of becoming a citizen can be complex and confusing but we are here to help! We encourage you to come to our office and get the process started immediately. We will help make sure the forms are accurately filled out and the correct accompanying documents are included. We will work with you to determine the best way to acquire citizenship and we will represent you throughout every step of the process.
Benefits of Becoming a Citizen
There are several benefits to becoming a citizen and the following are just a few:
- The right to vote
- The right to own a gun
- The right to serve on a jury
- The right to obtain a US passport
- Eligibility for government jobs
- Avoid deportation
- Petition to bring family members to the US
Requirements for U.S. Citizenship
The first step to applying for U.S. citizenship is making sure that you meet all of the eligibility requirements.
In order to become a U.S. citizen you must:
- Be at least 18 years old
- Be a permanent resident for a minimum of five years
- Prove that you have continually resided in the U.S. for at least five years
- Show that you have been present in the U.S. for a minimum of 30 months out of the 5 years
- Show that you have lived at least 3 months in the state or USCIS district where you apply.
- Take an oath of allegiance to the United States
- Have a basic understanding of U.S. government and history
- Demonstrate that you will observe the values and principles of the U.S. Constitution
Be a person of good moral character
- Includes filing taxes, supporting dependents, registered for selective services, a clean criminal record dating back 5 years.
- Be able to speak, read, and write basic English
- An exception exists where the applicant is at least 50 years old and has maintained permanent residency for at least 20 years, or is at least 55 years old and has maintained permanent residency for at least 15 years. Here, the applicant may have the examination performed in his or her native language.
What If I Have A Criminal Record?
If you have ever been arrested, do not attempt to file for citizenship on your own before consulting with a lawyer. Even a minor offense can jeopardize your resident status and eligibility for citizenship. Our lawyers are skilled in complex criminal immigration defense and will do everything within their power to protect your eligibility for U.S. citizenship.
- Filling out the N-400 form with an attorney
- Submitting the N-400 form with the regional service center where the applicant resides
- Attend the biometric (fingerprints) appointment at designated location
- Study for the civics (history and government) portion of the interview
- Attend the interview
- Receive “granted,” “continued,” or “denial” letter from USCIS
- Attend the oath allegiance ceremony and receive citizenship certificate
Over Two Decades in the U.S. Marine Corps
Attorney Patrick J. McLain tried his first jury trials during operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. He handles all cases with integrity and an unparalleled work-ethic.
Former Federal Prosecutor & Military Judge
Attorney Patrick J. McLain's years of experience across the aisle provide him with a unique perspective.
Over 3500 Cases Successfully Handled
Throughout his career, Patrick J. McLain has helped thousands of clients secure a better future for themselves through tenacious and aggressive representation.