To apply for citizenship under naturalization, you must have permanent residency. Normally, a person after getting their Green Card has to wait 5 years to be able to apply for citizenship.
On the other hand, a person who is married to a citizen and is living with the citizen, could apply for citizenship in 3 years.
Any applicant has to prove to immigration that during the last 5 or 3 years, that person has been of good moral character, meaning that they have not been arrested, have not had any convictions, have no pending charges, do not owe child support, do not owe a lot of taxes.
It’s something that they are going to review in the citizenship test when the person comes to the final appointment, they have to take the test, answer the questions, and review their history, their election history, their arrest history, or any contact with the police.
Citizenship Denied Due To Criminal Record
Yes, it’s possible to be denied citizenship if you have been arrested in the last 5 or 3 years, we have had successful cases with arrests, but usually, you have to prove that the charges were from that month.
When a permanent resident is thinking about applying for citizenship, if they have been arrested regardless of time, but especially within the last 5 years, that person should talk to Lincoln-Goldfinch Law.
We will request all of your court records to verify that it’s safe to apply for citizenship and that you will be able to win your case.
How Many Times Can I Apply For Citizenship?
You can apply many times, we have people who did not win or did not pass their exams the first time and kept applying until they passed their U.S. citizenship.
One thing that can happen is if someone puts all false information on their appointment, say they put that they have not been arrested but there is a record on their prints that says they have had contact with the police in an arrest, immigration is probably going to deny the citizenship case, and say that at the time of the lie that it was a fraud.
If any of these cases happen to you, you have to wait for 5 to 3 years after the time of the appointment.
In immigration no outcome will erase or expunge a criminal record in the eyes of that agency, it’s something that you can do with your background checks if you are looking for a job, but always when we talk about immigration when someone is filling out the permanent residency or citizenship form, they are going to want to know about your arrests, your incidents or criminal history.
You must always give this information to immigration, but a person can have an arrest (if the theft charges were dismissed) that is not a conviction, so it is possible to apply for citizenship.
Also for people who carry convictions, depending on the level, the type of conviction you have, you are still eligible to get your citizenship, but that part of the law between immigration and criminal law is something very complicated, and all immigrants who are applying for a benefit with immigration such as permanent residency, a work permit, DACA or citizenship, should consult with an attorney who is an expert in immigration law.
These situations can be very complicated and the least bad thing would be to lose your case or lose your money, the worst could be to be placed in deportation proceedings, it is an area of the law that is very important and you have to be very careful.
Are There Cases In Which It’s Not Recommended That Someone Apply For Citizenship?
Yes, sometimes we have to indicate to a person that it is not worth it to apply for citizenship, because maybe they have an arrest, or they were a person who got their residency under fraud, let’s say the person has adjusted their status because their father was a permanent resident, the applicant was married and in fact, did not qualify for permanent residency.
In these cases, it is not worth it to apply for citizenship, because in the citizenship process, the immigration officer will completely review your immigration history since your first immigration application.
It’s something that we investigate in the consultation, your entire history, every application you have made with immigration, every contact with immigration officers, and sometimes we do have to say in a consultation that it would not be a good idea to send a citizenship application because there is a risk of losing residency.
Anyway, we must clarify that this is something very rare, because most of the time with permanent residents who have enough time, they qualify to apply for their citizenship, but we give this information to our followers just to explain that it is important to investigate with us or with a lawyer with whom you have a lot of confidence, not with a notary, not with your friend, but with a person who has the information.
It’s very important to have the strategy in your case well done before you start sending anything to immigration.
What Happens If I Fail The Citizenship Test?
There is no limit to the number of times you can apply, in a citizenship application you will be given two chances to pass the test.
Remember that everyone has to take the test in English and answer the civics questions in English, the rule is that if you have not had your residency for 20 years and are over 50 years of age, or have had a residency for more than 15 years and are 55 years of age, that is the rule for taking the test in your language.
If you are under 50 years of age and have had your residency for less than 20 years or are under 55 years of age, and have had a residency for less than 15 years, you must take the test in English and be able to read and write the answers well.
There are usually about 2 to 3 months between the two interviews, but if you are denied the exam after the second interview, you can apply again without any problem.
The only requirement that will be needed from you to reapply is the fee, because every time you apply to immigration for this exam, you must submit the N-400 form which has a fee that you have to pay
Interviews For People With Functional Diversity
There is an exception for people who are unable to learn or study the questions, this comes with another form that is the N-648.
This form must be filled out by a physician who writes a diagnosis that reflects that the person has had a problem or condition, and cannot learn the questions or cannot speak English.
That is one way to avoid having to take the test, but it requires the services and assistance of a doctor.
What Kind Of Doctor Can Give You A Medical Exception?
Any doctor can fill out that form for citizenship, but when we are talking about permanent residency cases, everyone has to take a medical exam.
There is a list of doctors who can do that type of examination for residency, but when you are applying for your citizenship and you don’t want to or can’t take the exam, the doctor who has been treating you is the person who can fill out your form.
How Can Lincoln-Goldfinch Law Help You?
One difference between us and other law firms is that we always send an attorney with our clients to their examinations.
Some law firms may prepare their clients but leave them on their own without legal representation, in our case, we always have a representative available during an immigration appointment.
Throughout the entire process of preparing the immigration application, we have differences at Lincoln-Goldfinch Law, we are focused on the reality of the client because after you become our client, we know that the work of gathering the information and evidence required for an immigration case can be burdensome.
We have a team of customer service agents who work directly with our clients to help them prepare the information and documents so that the paralegals can prepare the packages.
An attorney reviews everything, and we are available throughout the process for any situation, if your case moves, if you need information about a trip, we are always available to serve you and answer your questions during what can be a long wait.
One doubt that we receive a lot, is that people who say they understand how to fill out the form to apply for the renewal of their residency because they saw, for example, how to apply for citizenship, what is the value of having a lawyer? if you can fill out the form.
The answer for us is based on the strategy and outcome of the test at the end of the day.
Many questions, complications, or changes in the person’s life arise during the waiting process, between sending the package to immigration and arriving at the final interview, we have a lot of conversations with our clients during that wait, and something very important for people is to have peace of mind, to know that they have someone on their side to help them during the waiting process.
What Do I Need To Do To Get My Citizenship?
Many people have adjusted their immigration status but we don’t know if they used the services of an immigration attorney to arrange for permanent resident status.
If you have complications in your situation, for example, if you have an arrest, it is recommended that you hire the services of a lawyer because you have a criminal record, which can be theft or DWI.
When someone has pending charges, if they are an immigrant, it is worth consulting or working with an immigration attorney.
We usually work with a criminal defense attorney to obtain a plea agreement that will not jeopardize your immigration status, because, for example, theft can be a type of crime that can jeopardize your permanent residency.
If the arrest or conviction occurs 5 years after receiving residency, it may be serious, so now is the time to hire an immigration attorney.
When someone with permanent residency is applying for citizenship and has an arrest in their past, they should consult and work with an immigration attorney, because that is a major complication that can have consequences in their case.
In case you have additional questions about the exam, citizenship, or your specific case, you can contact us at (855) 502-0555. After a short 10-minute evaluation of your case over the phone, we will let you know what options you have. You can also follow us on our social networks so you won’t miss our weekly broadcasts via Facebook, YouTube & Twitch.
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