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Naturalization & Citizenship

Immigration Attorney for Naturalization and Citizenship in Fort Walton Beach, Panama City and Pensacola, Florida

Helping hopeful immigrants progress from LPR to full citizenship

While many new immigrants are content to have obtained lawful permanent resident (LPR) status, many more are anxious to achieve their ultimate goal: full citizenship in the United States of America. For many, it's a matter of pride in their new country. Others wish to enjoy the rights reserved for citizens, such as:

  • Voting
  • Birthright citizenship for subsequent children
  • Traveling on a U.S. passport
  • Federal employment eligibility
  • Freedom from removal
  • Government benefits
  • Holding political office

Applying for U.S. citizenship: the requirements for naturalization

Before applying for citizenship, lawful permanent residents ("green card" holders) must consider whether they meet the statutory requirements, including:

  • Being at least 18 years of age
  • Having been an LPR for five years (or three if married to a U.S. citizen)
  • Having lived continuously in the United States, with proof of physical presence in the country, for 30 months out of the five years
  • Having resided for three months in the state where the application is filed
  • Showing evidence of good moral character
  • Being willing to uphold the U.S. Constitution
  • Being willing to take an oath of allegiance to the United States
  • Passing the English and Civics tests for naturalization

See our military immigration page for special categories governing spouses of active-duty military personnel and individuals hoping to receive naturalization through service in the U.S. armed forces.

If you believe you qualify for citizenship, it is a good idea to meet with an experienced immigration attorney who can represent you in your application. Filing an incomplete or non-qualifying application is a waste of your time and will inevitably lead to greater expense. An immigration attorney can also advise you if there are factors in your background that could lead to removal proceedings if your application is denied.

Effective assistance when your citizenship application is denied

Often, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services denies an application because it is incomplete or because a background check raised questions about the applicant’s truthfulness or good character. If your application was denied, you can:

  • Request an administrative review — You must file a Form N-336, Request for a Hearing on a Decision in Naturalization Proceedings, and pay a $605 filing fee. This results in a hearing before an immigration officer and an opportunity to clarify any of the issues that led to the initial denial. Your immigration attorney can submit a brief with additional evidence to support your case.
  • Seek a judicial review — If the hearing officer does not overturn your denial, you can appeal to the federal court in the district where you applied. You must file a petition within 120 days of the decision in your hearing.

Get reliable legal assistance when you file for citizenship

Filing for citizenship is costly and time-consuming, and errors only add to your expense.  In some cases, denial can even lead to a removal proceeding. Contact Southern Star Immigration for experienced legal representation in Panama City, Fort Walton Beach and Pensacola, Florida and a host of other cities across the region. To help make your application for citizenship as strong as possible, speak with Southern Star Immigration by calling 855.692.4649 or contacting our office online.

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