New Jersey Citizenship Lawyers
Individuals who are eligible for citizenship can apply for naturalization if they meet certain basic qualifications. Naturalization is the process by which a person who was not born in the U.S. can become a U.S. citizen. Persons who were born in the United States are U.S. citizens at birth and do not undergo the naturalization process. Those who are born to U.S. citizen parents outside of the country may be able to acquire U.S. citizenship through their parents or apply for naturalization. If you have legally resided in the U.S. as a green card holder, you may also be eligible to apply for naturalization. A New Jersey citizenship lawyer like Eric M. Mark can help with this process.
According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, individuals qualify for naturalization if they meet the following requirements:
- They are 18 years old.
- They are a permanent resident of the U.S., holding a green card.
- They have been a permanent resident for at least five years, and within at least three years under certain circumstances.
- Show that they have continuously resided in the U.S. for at least 30 months during the period of time they have held permanent residence status.
- They have lived for at least three months in the location from which they are applying for U.S. citizenship.
- They must be of good moral character.
- They must be able to read, write, and speak basic English.
- They must demonstrate a basic understanding of U.S. civics.
- And, they must take an oath of allegiance to the U.S.
Beyond these requirements, you may also need to show that you have not lived outside the U.S. for a considerable period of time, can read, write, and speak basic English, and can pass a citizenship test. In some circumstances, individuals may be able to apply for a waiver for these requirements. So, if you have resided in the U.S. for at least three years and hold a green card or permanent resident status, you may still be eligible to apply for citizenship under certain circumstances. In order to apply for naturalization, you’ll need to submit all proper documentation, complete an interview, receive a decision from USCIS, and then attend your naturalization ceremony during which you will take an oath of allegiance. If you are considering applying for naturalization, the Law Office of Eric M. Mark are citizenship lawyers in New Jersey who can assist you through the process. Contact us to learn more.
Understanding U.S. Citizenship Backlogs
Under the new presidential administration, there has been an increased backlog in the number of pending U.S. citizenship applications. According to NBC News, approximately 700,000 applications are pending. Many experts have expressed concern that this backlog prevents qualifying individuals from becoming citizens, which would allow them to become able to vote and enjoy other important responsibilities. In some cases, the processing timeframe can be as long as 20 months. Yet, according to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, there is no backlog. The agency claims that it naturalizes anywhere between 700,000 and 750,000 people as citizens each year.
If you have applied for U.S. citizenship and have not yet heard back, you may need to be patient, given the long wait times. You can also check online on the status of your application. Finally, if a delay is affecting you, putting you at risk of deportation, or if you feel like you need additional support with your application, reach out to a New Jersey citizenship attorney at the Law Office of Eric M. Mark today.
What You Need to Know About the Citizenship Civics Test
In order to be naturalized, you’ll need to pass a civics test. Topics included in the civics test include basic concepts on the workings of the U.S. government and U.S. history. The topics include basic principles of American democracy, including topics involving the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Applicants should be able to identify the branches of the government and their purposes, identify the economic system under which the U.S. operates, and understand how many members are in the House and Senate and term length. Individuals should be able to name the president and their representatives. The test also covers state’s rights and the role of the federal government. Applicants should be able to identify their state capital and governor. The test also covers basic rights granted to American citizens.
Another aspect of the test covers American history from the colonial period. Test-takers should be able to name three of the colonies and identify the date on which the Declaration of Independence was signed, and the date on which the Constitution was written. The test also covers the Emancipation Proclamation, the Civil War, and history involving WWI and WWII. The test also covers basic questions about American geography and territories.
It is useful to prepare for this test. There are many resources available online and in the community to help you prepare. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services offers resources. Individuals with certain disabilities may qualify for exceptions and accommodations for the test. If you believe you may qualify for an exception, consider speaking to your New Jersey immigration lawyer at the Law Office of Eric M. Mark in New Jersey.
Protect Your Rights: Apply for Citizenship
U.S. citizenship grants individuals certain important rights and responsibilities. For example, U.S. citizens cannot be deported. U.S. citizens have the right to vote. Citizens may have certain responsibilities, like registering in the Selective Service and serving on a jury if selected. If you are a permanent resident and are considering applying for citizenship, reach out to the Law Office of Eric M. Mark today. Our New Jersey Immigration and Citizenship Law firm can review your application, help you understand whether you qualify for citizenship, and help you navigate each step of the naturalization process. If you believe you may need to apply for exceptions or accommodations, a lawyer can assist you with this as well. It is not necessary to have a lawyer to apply for citizenship, but a lawyer can assist you with your application and help you navigate the process.