While it is not required, it is highly recommended that permanent residents have a qualified attorney to help apply for U.S. citizenship

Becoming a United States citizen is a dream for so many people. While the law does not require that an applicant have legal representation, many find the process of applying for citizenship much easier if you do. Lawyers charge a very nominal fee for assisting with the naturalization process. If you do not work with a lawyer, you may find you end up paying even more when mistakes are made, or documentation is incomplete. Listed below are just a few ways our Nashville immigration lawyers at Ozment Law, PLC, can help you through the process.

Knowledge of the Law

As you would expect, a lawyer knows the law. If there is an issue, such as failing to meet the eligibility requirements, our lawyers can advise you of this before you start the process and pay unnecessary fees. For example, many people do not realize that when they take an extended trip outside of the country, it can reset the clock on the amount of time they must now wait before applying for citizenship.

Additionally, certain crimes make a permanent resident ineligible for naturalization to become a U.S. citizen for a certain period of time. An attorney can help a permanent resident considering applying for citizenship evaluate the risks of applying for naturalization with a criminal record.

Likewise, an attorney may be able to advise a permanent resident to handle unpaid back taxes, child support, or alimony, all of which could jeopardize an applicant’s application.

In some instances, consulting with an attorney before filing for naturalization can save you a great deal of money. As of 2023, the filing fee charged by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is $725 for most people going through the naturalization process. If you apply but it turns out you are not eligible, you will not only forfeit the fee you paid the first time, but you will also have to pay it again if you apply in the future.

Filling Out the Form N-400

To apply for naturalization, you must fill out Form N-400 and submit all required initial evidence. Our experienced lawyers can help you fill out this form to ensure no mistakes are made. At Ozment Law, PLC, we can also advise on the type of documents you need to submit along with your application. Before submitting your application, we will review everything to make sure it contains everything you need so you can receive an answer or instruction on the next steps more quickly.

Act as Your Advocate Throughout the Process

You will have to speak to an immigration officer at USCIS during the application process. It is easy to become confused, overlook details, and be unsure about what steps to take next. Our qualified attorneys will communicate with USCIS on your behalf, and any requests from the agency will be sent to us so we can advise you of what is needed, and nothing gets missed.

Our attorneys will prepare you for your naturalization interview, too. Many people are nervous and worried about the naturalization interview—including the English and civics tests if those are required. Some people are exempt from the English and civics tests. One unique quality about our representation of clients at Ozment Law is that our attorneys personally meet with people with naturalization interviews to do a “practice” or “mock” interview, so that they are more at ease with the questions that will be asked. During the practice interview, the attorney plays the role of the immigration officer. That way, the applicant can see how the interview may go beforehand.

Lastly, our attorneys can also attend your citizenship interview with you. This takes place at the USCIS office. Our lawyer will take notes, which could be helpful in cases of denial, and will act as your advocate in the event the officer needs clarification or if you are asked inappropriate questions.

Citizenship is an exciting process, and for many, it represents the culmination of many years of work toward that goal. Our attorneys can help make the process less intimidating and can guide applicants through the process, serving as a source of information and advocacy before the USCIS.

Call Our Immigration Lawyers in Nashville Today

If you are about to go through the naturalization process, do not go through it alone. At Ozment Law, PLC, our Nashville immigration lawyers can save you the time, money, and stress it often takes to become a United States citizen. Call us now at 615-321-8888 or fill out our online intake form to request a consultation and learn more about how we can help you become a citizen.

We Want You To Be Able To Share In The American Dream