Do I Need A Lawyer To File For Citizenship?
Filing for Citizenship
The Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) agency, does not require citizenship applicants to use a lawyer but depending on an applicant’s particular situation, it might be in the applicant’s best interest to enlist the help of a licensed lawyer.
Filing for Citizenship Without a Lawyer
U.S. citizenship applicants are allowed to file USCIS forms such as Form N-400, Application for Naturalization, by themselves. Applicants who have a command of English and understand the language used on citizenship and naturalization forms, and who do not have any special circumstances such as having been charged or convicted of a crime, often can successfully file for citizenship on their own.
If you want to file for citizenship without a lawyer, you must complete and submit a Form N-400, Application for Naturalization. This, along with instructions for filling the form out, can be downloaded as PDFs directly from the USCIS website or you can call the USCIS Forms Request Line to order these documents to be mailed to you. You can obtain information about the naturalization application process as well as study materials designed to help prospective citizens to prepare for their naturalization test through the USCIS’s Citizenship Resource Center. The USCIS website also has A Guide to Naturalization that explains in detail, how to apply for naturalization.
Legal Help for Filing for Citizenship
If you are looking for help for filing for citizenship, it is important to make sure you are getting the kind of help you need. If you need legal help, it is important to know whether or not the person you are asking for help is licensed to protect your citizenship rights. Many people offer help with immigration services and unfortunately, not all of them are authorized or qualified to do so. Not everyone needs a licensed lawyer to help them with filing for citizenship but if you do, make sure that the lawyer you are planning to hire (or one that you have already hired) does in fact have the license they need to help you. Some people have qualifications that are not law degrees that qualify them to help people with filing for citizenship but it is only a licensed lawyer that can represent you in court immigration proceedings, including hearings, trials and appeals.
Legal Help With Form N-400 Application for Naturalization
A citizenship applicant can file a Form N-400 by themselves but many people choose to have legal help to do this. If you are seeking legal help to complete this or other USCIS forms, only attorneys and Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) accredited representatives are allowed to give legal advice and help.
Common things that attorneys and EOIR representatives help people with include but are not limited to:
– They explain the immigration options you may have
– They figure out which forms and documents an individual needs to include in their application
– Communicate with the USCIS about your case
If your circumstances do not require legal help or advice, as mentioned above, the USCIS has many valuable resources to help people who are filing for citizenship.
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