Unmasking The Myths About The Naturalization Process

By Published On: April 20, 2023Categories: Vlog, Immigration

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Unmasking The Myths About The Naturalization Process

Understanding the prerequisites for pursuing U.S. citizenship via the naturalization process is crucial. Specific criteria apply when a permanent resident seeks it, distinct from being born in the United States. If you want to become a citizen, there are many stories neighbors or friends often tell or share. Debunking them gives you a beaconing light in the dark tunnel.

Unmasking the myths about the naturalization process will give you confidence and peace of mind. Here, you will get to answer the different questions surrounding U.S. citizenship through naturalization.

An Immigration Lawyer Will Help You Effectively Complete Your U.S. Citizenship And Naturalization Process

Common Misconceptions About The Naturalization Process

What are the prerequisites for initiating the naturalization process to acquire citizenship? For instance, individuals must be at least 18 years old. Generally, they must maintain a valid Green Card for at least five or three years if married to a U.S. citizen. With exemptions in some cases, they must be proficient in English and pass an examination. Also, they must communicate and understand English.

Knowing this essential information about the naturalization process gives you hope and the strength to go on. Sifting what is true, what is false, and what depends on your situation allows you to make adjustments or actions. As this is your primary goal in coming to the United States, you must exhaust every possible option to qualify for citizenship.

If you think your situation is doomed, consult an immigration attorney. For example, can you still qualify if you have a criminal record?

Can Someone With A Criminal Record Apply For Citizenship?

Demonstrating good moral character within the past five years (or three, if married to a citizen) is essential. This entails a clean record without arrests, charges, or convictions. Having any arrest in the past five years can pose challenges.

However, instances exist of successful citizenship cases despite recent arrests. For example, there was a client falsely accused of domestic violence by an upset spouse, though no charges were pressed. Through clarifications and a letter from his wife, the client secured citizenship. So, every situation is unique and depends on the crime committed and the evidence surrounding it.

Nonetheless, it needs caution for convictions exceeding five years. These include fraud, violence, theft, or weapons-related charges, which may jeopardize residency. For individuals seeking citizenship post-arrest or police interaction, consulting an experienced immigration attorney is paramount. How about if you have traffic violations?

Typically, it will not affect your application. You may have to prove that you have paid everything and have no outstanding balance. Normally, immigration officers don’t ask about it. However,  you have to list everything on the application form. You must include any arrest and contact with the police. All information must be on your form, but it’s usually just a check; they don’t ask for anything else.

However, it depends on the degree of the crime. Some will make you ineligible to apply, including actions against the government.

Does Commenting Against The Government Affect The Process?

Could expressing opinions against the U.S. government or police have repercussions even on social media? Yes, it’s plausible. The highest risk exists for individuals outside the United States, particularly at border crossings or airports. When Green Card or Visa holders seek entry, meticulous scrutiny prevails, empowering officers to refuse entrance or initiate deportation proceedings.

Vigilance extends to examining personal devices and social media profiles. This is especially true if suspicions arise about unauthorized work during a tourist visit. Social media checks are common during interviews for citizenship and permanent residency.

Additionally, there are some instances in marriage-based residency applications where officers delve into Facebook and Instagram data to verify the authenticity of unions. While such scrutiny isn’t typical for citizenship, caution is imperative throughout the immigration process. It’s wise to exercise discretion on social media to navigate the immigration journey smoothly.

Is There Any Crime Or Punishment Preventing Someone To Apply?

Some specific crimes or penalties could hinder someone from pursuing citizenship. There are indeed numerous, and navigating this aspect of the law can be intricate. Generally, the four categories of fraud, violence, theft, or weapons-related offenses can pose significant challenges, even if they are minor offenses.

It’s crucial to note that while a criminal defense attorney might assure you of no impact on your immigration case, consulting an immigration lawyer remains vital. Non-immigration practitioners may not fully grasp the complexities and constant evolution of immigration laws.

The field demands staying updated and adapting to recent developments. Immigration attorneys diligently track and stay up-to-date with these changes, a testament to their dedication.

Are Vaccinations Or Certain Vaccines A Requirement?

Given the ongoing COVID-19 cases, though under control, does applying for citizenship necessitate specific vaccinations? No, citizenship applications do not mandate vaccinations. However, certain Visas and obtaining permanent residency within the United States require specific vaccinations.

A roster of standard vaccines, encompassing the COVID-19 vaccine, necessitates documentation for permanent residency. Notably, citizenship applications do not impose such a requirement. Therefore, you should not worry about getting vaccinated when applying for naturalization.

Can You Apply For Citizenship If Using Some Social Benefits?

Are permanent residents utilizing social benefits eligible to apply for citizenship? Absolutely. However, it’s crucial to ensure transparency and avoid any fraudulent activity. There was a case where a client qualified for government assistance. It includes housing or financial aid, yet fails to report certain income sources to receive more benefits.

This action constitutes fraud, jeopardizing one’s good moral character needed for citizenship and inviting potential criminal charges. It’s essential to truthfully disclose all family income and adhere to regulations when applying for benefits. This vigilance is necessary to maintain integrity, as unreported income equates to tax evasion.

Remaining diligent and forthright, even if taxes are owed, is advisable. Any financial misrepresentation can impact future immigration proceedings that benefit the entire family. As noted, fraud is one of the crimes that can prevent you from becoming a U.S. citizen.

Can You Still Apply For Citizenship If Separated Or Divorced?

How about if you acquired permanent residency through marriage but since separated from your spouse? Can you still pursue citizenship? Yes, your eligibility remains intact. The key distinction lies in the type of permanent residency obtained. If you possess a ten-year Green Card, you can qualify as a permanent resident, irrespective of the marriage-based acquisition.

Why Hiring An Immigration Attorney Clears Your Pathway?

Discover What Are The Immigration Myths About Naturalization And U.S. Citizenship

Hiring an immigration attorney can pave a clear and smooth pathway to citizenship through naturalization. Navigating the intricate landscape of immigration law can be overwhelming. Having a skilled legal professional by your side can make all the difference.

Possesses In-Depth Knowledge & Skills

An immigration attorney possesses in-depth knowledge and skills in immigration regulations. They stay updated with the ever-changing laws, ensuring your application meets the latest requirements and guidelines. This awareness minimizes the risk of errors or omissions that could derail your citizenship aspirations.

Assesses Eligibility For Citizenship

An attorney can meticulously review your personal history and circumstances to assess your eligibility for citizenship. They can help you determine any potential challenges and devise strategic solutions to address them. Whether understanding the impact of previous criminal records or addressing specific issues related to your residency, an attorney’s insights are invaluable.

Guides Through The Paperwork & Documentation

Your immigration attorney can guide you through the intricate paperwork and documentation required for the naturalization process. They can ensure that all necessary forms are accurately completed and submitted, reducing the likelihood of delays or rejections.

Advocates On Your Behalf

One of the most significant advantages of having an attorney is their ability to advocate on your behalf. They can represent you in dealings with government agencies and officials, providing a layer of protection and support. In case of complications or inquiries, your attorney will be well-equipped to respond effectively, ensuring a seamless progression toward citizenship.

Streamlines The Process

Hiring an immigration attorney offers a strategic advantage by streamlining the journey to naturalization. Their skills, attention to detail, and advocacy can help you navigate potential obstacles, increasing your chances of a successful outcome and ultimately realizing your dream of becoming a U.S. citizen.

Simply reach out to an immigration attorney at Lincoln-Goldfinch Law. It can be via phone or on the website so they can determine if there’s a potential benefit or solution for your circumstances. In a brief ten-minute consultation, they can confidentially evaluate your case without requiring a formal appointment. This efficient process allows them to assess your available options accurately.


Knowing how citizenship through naturalization works can dispel misconceptions about the process. Your immigration lawyer can answer pertinent questions that keep you in doubt. In essence, unmasking myths, addressing challenges, and seeking legal counsel give you the conviction to continue your journey.

If you have additional questions about your naturalization, immigration case, or your specific case, you may contact us at (855) 502-0555. After a brief 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 don’t miss our weekly broadcasts on Facebook, YouTube and Twitch.

About the Author: Kate Lincoln-Goldfinch

I am the managing partner of Lincoln-Goldfinch Law. Upon graduating from the University of Texas for college and law school, I received an Equal Justice Works Fellowship in 2008, completed at American Gateways. My project served the detained families seeking asylum. After my fellowship, I entered private immigration practice. My firm offers family-based immigration, such as green cards and naturalization, deportation defense, and humanitarian cases such as asylum, U Visa, and VAWA. Everyone at Lincoln-Goldfinch Law is bilingual, has a connection to our cause, and has demonstrated a history of activism for immigrants. To us, our work is not just a job.

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