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 Legal Services

Naturalization
The partners at Durkin & Puri have years of experience handling complicated naturalization applications. Naturalization is the process through which most foreign nationals obtain U.S. citizenship. For many people the naturalization process can be quite straightforward. However, for many others, applying to naturalize can be a difficult, and potentially risky, procedure.

Through a careful and detailed review of our client's immigration history, Durkin & Puri can identify whether someone has a naturalization case that could be problematic. In fact, there are some clients who we recommend against filing for naturalization because we think the risks to the client are too great.

It is important to consult an attorney before you apply for naturalization, particularly for people who have been arrested or convicted of criminal charges. Convictions, even sometimes for very minor offenses, can make you ineligible for naturalization either temporarily or permanently. While reviewing your naturalization application, if U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services decides that a conviction in your past makes you deportable, the agency will likely issue you a notice to appear before the Immigration Court. Due to that risk, good advice from an immigration attorney before you decide whether to apply for naturalization is critical.

Other issues that might complicate a naturalization application include prior immigration fraud, failure to pay child support, failure to register for selective service if required, long absences from the United States, and adultery, among many other potential issues.

While the process can be complex, there are many wonderful benefits of becoming a naturalized United States citizen including:
  • Voting in federal elections
  • Bringing family members to the U.S. more quickly than as a green card holder. Being a U.S. citizen also means that you can petition for relatives that green card holders cannot, such as parents and brothers and sisters.
  • Traveling with a U.S. passport
  • Becoming eligible for federal grants and scholarships
  • Protection from being deported from the U.S.
Remember, if you have any criminal convictions or other complicating factors and are considering applying for naturalization, it is critical that you consult an immigration lawyer who handles complex and criminal immigration matters who can analyze your case and give you the proper advice. For more information or to schedule a consultation with Durkin & Puri contact us.
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