New Orleans Naturalization and Citizenship Lawyers
Experienced representation for people seeking citizenship in New Orleans, Slidell, and throughout Louisiana
Becoming a US citizen is the dream of many people. The process, however, can be complex, and even a small error can keep you from taking the next steps. Working with an immigration attorney can make a real difference, and can help you move through the process more effectively and quickly.
At the Law Office of James A. Graham, our immigration lawyers in New Orleans and Slidell help immigrants and lawful permanent residents start on the path to citizenship. We ensure the forms and documents are correct and submitted where they need to go. We prepare you for the personal examination by a USCIS officer. We also review many practical issues such as the training you may need to pass the English and civics tests. If you dream of becoming an American, give us a call; we can get started together.
Who can seek US citizenship through the naturalization process?
You can seek to become a US citizen through the naturalization process if you:
- Have been a lawful permanent resident for at least five years. The requirements for naturalization include:
- You must be at least 18 years of age when you submit Form N-400, Application for Naturalization.
- You can demonstrate you’ve been a continuous resident of the US for at least five years immediately prior to filing the Form N-400 application for naturalization.
- You can show you’ve been physically present in the US for at least 30 months of the five years prior to seeking formal naturalization approval.
- You can show “you have lived for at least three months in a state or USCIS district having jurisdiction over your place of residence. (If you are a student and are financially dependent on your parents, you may apply for naturalization where you go to school or where your family lives.)”
- Are married to a US citizen. The requirements for naturalization are that you must:
- Be 18 or older when you file Form N-400, the application form for naturalization
- Be an LPR for at least three years prior to the date of filing the naturalization form
- Have been living in “marital union” with your US citizen spouse for three years prior to the date you file the naturalization form – while USCIC adjudicates your application
- Have lived for at least three months in a state or USCIS district having jurisdiction over your place of residence
- Other residency requirements and physical presence requirements
- Are a member of the US military. Anyone who is serving or has served in the US military may be eligible for naturalization if the applicant meets all the requirements of section 328 or 329 of the INA. These requirements include:
- At least one year of service in the US military
- File form N-400 and Form N-426, Request for Certification of Military or Naval Service (PDF, 418.02 KB)
- Show that if you left the service, you left under honorable conditions
- Be a lawful permanent resident at the time of your naturalization interview
- Meet certain residence and physical presence requirements
Other people may also apply for naturalization approval such as spouses and other family members of living or deceased US military members, provided they meet the specific requirements.
Applicants applying for US citizenship, regardless of the grounds for applying, must also meet the following requirements (some time limits do apply):
- Demonstrate that they are and have been a person of good moral character.
- Demonstrate an attachment to the principles and ideals of the U.S. Constitution.
- Show they can speak, write, and read basic English.
- Have knowledge and understanding of the fundamentals of the history, and of the principles and form of government, of the United States – usually by passing an English naturalization examination.
- Take an Oath of Allegiance to the United States.
Some applicants may be able to take the civics test in a language of their choice instead of the English test for naturalization.
Are children entitled to US citizenship?
Generally, there are two ways to obtain US citizenship through parents who have US citizenship. The first is through birth. The second (such as by adoption) is after birth but before the age of 18. If a child is born outside of the US, then the law in effect at the time of birth applies. A child born outside of the United States automatically becomes a U.S. citizen when all of the following conditions have been met on or after Feb. 27, 2001:
- The child is under 18 years of age.
- The child is a lawful permanent resident of the US.
- The child “has at least one parent, including an adoptive parent, who is a U.S. citizen by birth or through naturalization.”
- The child resides in the US in the legal and physical custody of the U.S. citizen parent.
What is the naturalization examination?
USCIS conducts an investigation of all naturalization applicants to determine if they’ve met all the eligibility requirements. The investigation also includes:
- Security and criminal background checks
- A review of the applicant’s complete immigration record
- An in-person interview(s) with oral and written testimony
- An English and civics requirements test
The USCIS will also review if the application is entitled to a disability exception.
The interview is conducted under oath. The USCIS officer will obtain oral and written testimony. The officer can subpoena witnesses, request evidence, and administer the oath of allegiance. The questions generally focus on the requirements for approval.
The questions will likely include the applicant’s biographical information including marital history and military service, LPR admission and length, any absences from the US, employment history, places of residence, affiliations or memberships in certain organizations, attachments to the US Constitution’s principles, moral character, criminal history, willingness to take an oath of allegiance to US, and the applicant’s knowledge of English and US civics.
The USCIS has 120 days from the date of the initial naturalization interview to issue a decision.
Can my naturalization confirmation be revoked?
A person’s naturalization can be revoked in a civil proceeding or following a criminal conviction. The revocation, also called denaturalization, must be heard in federal court. The government must meet very high standards for both civil and criminal actions. The main grounds for civil revocation are “Illegal procurement of naturalization” or “concealment of a material fact or willful misrepresentation.”
Our New Orleans immigration lawyers will explain the circumstances that may result in revocation proceedings being brought.
Do you have an immigration lawyer near me?
The Law Office of James A. Graham has two office locations in South Louisiana:
For clients who are unable to travel, we can schedule phone or video conferences when needed.
Talk with an experienced New Orleans naturalization and citizenship lawyer now
At the Law Office of James A. Graham, our New Orleans immigration lawyers are strong advocates for anyone who wants to become a US citizen through the naturalization process. We’ll guide you through the forms, examinations, and other parts of the process. Our lawyers will answer all your citizenship questions. To schedule a consultation, please call us or fill out our contact form to speak with our New Orleans and Slidell lawyers today.