Since there has been so much recent news about the presidential election in November 2016, many people have become more motivated to become citizens so they can vote in the election. Applying for US citizenship, called naturalization, takes about 5 months, so if you want to be a citizen before the election in November, you should apply for naturalization by the beginning of June 2016 in order to be sure you’ll be a citizen before the election. To apply for naturalization, an applicant must be a Lawful Permanent Resident for 4 years and 9 months (but only 2 years and 9 months if you are married to a US citizen).
Common Issues When Applying For US Citizenship:
Generally, if you have a clean criminal record for the last 5 years, you will qualify for naturalization. Traffic related arrests within the last 5 years are OK too.
LONG TRAVEL OUTSIDE THE USA
Most trips outside the United States in the last 4 years that lasted longer than 6 months will disqualify an applicant. If you have any trips of 6 months or more, please contact me and I can tell you if you still qualify.
If you owe the IRS more than $1,000, the USCIS will not let you naturalize until you pay your IRS balance down to less than $1,000.
OWED CHILD SUPPORT
If you owe any amount of back child support, the USCIS will not let you naturalize until you have completely paid off your back child support.
SELECTIVE SERVICE REGISTRATION (only for male applicants between the ages of 18-30)
If you haven’t registered for Selective Service, you must either register (which is recommended because it can be done online or through the mail very quickly and easily), or wait until you turn 31 years old.
If you don’t have any problems with any of the above situations, you are a good candidate for naturalization. If you think one of these situations above applies to you, give me a call at 512-912-7771 and I can let you what you can do to become eligible.