At Gorton Law LLC, we regard it as one of our greatest privileges to walk clients through the process of obtaining citizenship in the United States of America. This is a monumental step and one that brings many benefits and advantages.

Some of the benefits of U.S. citizenship include:

  • The right to vote
  • The ability to serve on a jury
  • The right to run for public office
  • Access to programs such as social security
  • The ability to sponsor family members for citizenship
  • The ability to travel with a U.S. passport

Are you ready to obtain the rights and responsibilities that come with U.S. citizenship? Our Boston citizenship attorneys would like to express our support for this decision. Unfortunately, the naturalization process can be very challenging. Our lawyers are here to offer the guidance and support you need.

Do I Need a Citizenship Attorney?

While many individuals choose to pursue citizenship without legal representation, this is not recommended. Some are successful in this endeavor, but many inadvertently hurt their chances of obtaining citizenship — sometimes permanently. With stakes this high, protect your future and your interests by securing the counsel and representation of a passionate and knowledgeable Malden immigration attorney.

At Gorton Law LLC, we are dedicated to protecting our clients’ rights and helping them achieve their immigration objectives. We can help you avoid common pitfalls and mistakes that often impede those pursuing naturalization. We are passionate and committed legal professionals with a thorough grasp of the laws that could affect your case.

Permanent Residency (Green Card) vs. Citizenship

Many people think that a green card and citizenship are the same thing. This is simply not true. Here, we’ve outlined some of the key differences:

Green Card (Lawful Permanent Residence)

  • Can live and work in the U.S. permanently
  • Cannot spend more than six months outside the U.S. per year
  • Cannot register to vote
  • Can be deported
  • Limited access to public benefits
  • Cannot serve on a jury
  • Must travel using green card plus passport from country of citizenship
  • Limited ability to apply for visas for family members (such as parents or fiancé(e)s)

  • Can live and work in the U.S. permanently
  • Can travel and live outside the U.S. without restraint
  • Can vote
  • Cannot be deported (unless a naturalized citizen committed fraud to get a green card)
  • Full access to public benefits
  • Can serve on a jury
  • Can have and carry a U.S. passport
  • Full ability to sponsor family members to come to the U.S.

As immigration lawyers, we focus most on the protection from deportation and the ability to sponsor family members. Almost all of our clients believe that these are the most important reasons to apply to become a citizen of the United States.

How Long Does It Take to Become a U.S. Citizen?

Usually you must have a green card for five years before you are eligible for U.S. citizenship. One big exception is that someone who is married to a U.S. citizen can apply after only three years. There are other exceptions as well for you to discuss with a qualified immigration attorney. Our team can advise you as to the current processing times with USCIS and the USCIS field offices we serve in Boston and Lawrence, Massachusetts, and Manchester, New Hampshire.

What Do I Have to Do to Become a U.S. Citizen?

To become a citizen, you must pass an English test, the civics test, and must be legally eligible to be naturalized. You must also swear your support to the Constitution of the United States and promise to help defend the United States, if called upon to do so. Having an immigration attorney from our team can help you review your legal eligibility (but we can’t take the test for you!).

What Happens if a Naturalization Application Is Denied?

Worst case scenario is the government will send your case to the Immigration Court so ICE can try to cancel your green card, and have you deported. Even if USCIS or ICE decide not to take that drastic step, a denied naturalization application can lead to a complicated appeal process, or even require a lawsuit in federal court.

Who Should Have a Lawyer for the Citizenship Application?

We advise that 100% of people with criminal records have an immigration lawyer represent them in the citizenship application. A qualified attorney can review the records to make sure there is no disqualifying record that could lead the government to start deportation proceedings and the loss of the green card.

There are also other factors that can complicate a citizenship application, like false claims of U.S. citizenship, tax problems, child support problems, accidentally registering to vote, or having spent too much time outside the United States.

We also recommend that anyone who wants extra help through the citizenship process should be represented by an adept immigration attorney, to be with you through the process and represent you during the interview. The best reason to have a lawyer for a citizenship application is to have a counselor and concierge that you can trust and confide in. You can learn more about the benefits of hiring an attorney by clicking here.

Ready to Apply for Citizenship? Call Our Malden, MA Law Firm!

Don’t let citizenship be one of the things stuck on your “to do” list. Get started today by arranging an immigration consultation with our attorneys. You can pick the day and time you want to meet after filling out our simple intake form. If you want to book your appointment over the phone, you can call us to speak with our office.