Do I Need a Lawyer to File for Citizenship?
Unless you are a citizen by birth, gaining U.S. citizenship can be a long, extensive, and complicated process. And while it may not be legally required for you to hire an immigration lawyer to file for citizenship, it may be a good idea to have someone with some professional experience on your side to guide you through the process.
Whether you have difficulty understanding English, need assistance gathering the necessary documents, or just want to know why some applications are denied so you can avoid the same fate, there are times when you might want a lawyer to file for citizenship.
The Language Barrier
Navigating the immigration and naturalization process is difficult enough for native English speakers. For those who have difficulty reading and understanding English, the Application for Naturalization can be impossible.
Often, immigration attorneys will speak the language of the clientele they serve, and be fluent in naturalization legalese as well. If not, the lawyer or firm can hire an interpreter to make sure that you are understood and that you understand the process.
The Document Requirement
Beyond all of the conditions you must meet in order to apply for citizenship, there is a pile of documentation you are required to provide to support your application for naturalization. From color photographs of your face to marriage certificates and IRS agreements, you might need to file dozens of documents with Citizenship and Immigration Services. And an attorney can not only make sure that you have them all, but that you understand them and have properly completed them.
The Experience Factor
A good immigration and naturalization attorney will know just what Citizenship and Immigration Services wants to see on an application. He or she will also be able to brief on the how long the process might take and provide updates. And he or she may be able to help you prepare for the examination segment.
How do you find a good immigration attorney? Referrals from friends or family can be great, and you can also locate one near you via our attorney directory.
- Browse Immigration Lawyers by Location (FindLaw Directory)
- 5 Questions to Ask an Immigration Lawyer (FindLaw's Law and Daily Life)
- Documents To Show Your Attorney: Applying for Citizenship (FindLaw)
- U.S. Citizenship & Naturalization Overview (FindLaw)