A citizenship lawyer is an attorney that practices immigration law. The practice area covers a variety of immigration-related issues, including asylum and refugee law.
Citizenship matters make up a significant portion of immigration lawyers’ workloads. A lawyer can help citizens navigate the naturalization process, from start to finish. They can also accompany applicants to their citizenship interviews, as well as level the playing field with USCIS officers.
Expertise in Immigration Laws
Immigration law is complicated, and an experienced attorney understands how to get around legal pitfalls. They know what to look for in filling out forms, preparing documents and statements, and making sure that the information is clear and consistent. They also know how to avoid delays caused by legal technicalities, and what to do when they arise.
Those who are interested in pursuing this career path should consider taking courses or concentrations in immigration law at law school. They should also seek out opportunities for hands-on experience through legal clinics, externships, internships, clerkships and pro bono activities.
Once they have completed their legal education and passed the bar exam for their state, lawyers can either join a firm that specializes in immigration law or set up their own practice. If they choose to join an established firm, the lawyer will have access to a support system and can start working with clients immediately. They can also build a network that will last throughout their professional careers.
Accompanied to the Citizenship Interview
The citizenship interview is one of the most intimidating parts of the naturalization process. It’s you, the officer and perhaps an interpreter in the room – a situation that can be even more nerve-wracking if you don’t have an attorney present.
Citizenship lawyers accompany their clients to their interviews, and can offer helpful tips for answering questions and preparing for the test. In addition, they can take detailed notes on the discussion and provide an explanation if USCIS issues a notice of denial based on purported inconsistencies or discrepancies at the interview.
Those who are applying for citizenship may feel it’s tempting to go to the interview without counsel to save on legal fees, but the consequences of that decision can be serious. If you don’t have an attorney help you prepare and defend your application, it could be denied before you can take the Oath of Allegiance.
Reduced Chances of Mistakes
Noncitizens whose cases are pending with the EOIR or USCIS have a due process right to competent representation. However, attorneys’ skills and services vary widely. If you’re represented by an incompetent attorney, your case may be delayed or even rejected. An experienced citizenship lawyer will ensure that your application is free of errors and omissions that could delay or derail its processing.
For example, Maria wanted to petition for her aunt and uncle to become citizens. But she didn’t know that extended family members like aunts and uncles aren’t eligible under the “immediate relative” category. Her immigration lawyer would have advised her to explore other visa pathways to help them immigrate.
Our citizenship and immigration lawyers will help you determine your eligibility based on the facts of your case and guide you through the citizenship or naturalization process. Contact Boundless today for a consultation. We’re here to help you achieve your American dream.
Having a lawyer helps ensure that your citizenship application is processed on time. In addition, your lawyer can help ensure that you understand when your naturalization interview will take place. This is important to make sure that you can plan ahead and avoid any unnecessary stress or problems.
Citizenship carries significant benefits, including the ability to sponsor family members for citizenship, vote in elections, access certain jobs and scholarships reserved for citizens, and travel freely with a United States passport. However, COVID-19 restrictions, fiscal issues and a hiring freeze at USCIS have exacerbated processing delays.
The National Immigration Forum supports a more consumer-friendly process for naturalization, which is critical to meeting the agency’s mission of “efficiently and fairly adjudicating requests for immigration benefits.” A redesign of the process should include transparent, reassuring communal insight into expected processing times. Features that allow applicants to compare their own timelines and experiences with those of others (while keeping privacy in mind) would be especially helpful.