You live in the United States with a green card, meaning that you are a permanent resident. You may start a business, buy a home, grow your family or pursue a rewarding career. Eventually, you may qualify for naturalization or the process of becoming a citizen.
Becoming a naturalized citizen offers numerous benefits. You no longer have to worry about deportation. You can run for political office. You also have expanded opportunities to help your loved ones enter the United States.
However, citizenship is not a guarantee, even if you have had a green card for years. Mistakes that you make while living in the United States could negatively affect your naturalization attempt. What mistakes should you do your best to avoid before you apply for naturalized citizenship?
Breaking the law
One of the most common reasons that people run into immigration complications is the criminal record. Many kinds of felonies could prevent you from passing the background check necessary when you apply for naturalization. More concerning is how any offense deemed to be a crime of moral turpitude affects your right to stay in the country.
Submitting inaccurate information to the USCIS
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will ask for a lot of information from you when you apply for a visa and to adjust your status to secure a green card. You will also have to provide more information when you want to become a naturalized citizen.
Knowingly providing inaccurate information to the USCIS could negatively affect your opportunities for naturalization. In some cases, lying on USCIS paperwork or during interviews could even affect your right to stay in the country.
Not preparing for the test
The interview process for naturalization includes two tests. Immigrants need to prove their proficiency with the English language and answer questions about Civics.
The USCIS provides a list of the possible test questions about Civics, and many agencies and educational institutions provide language support services. Proper preparation for the tests is crucial if you hope to pass and become a naturalized citizen. You only have the option of re-taking the test once in most cases.
Avoiding some of the common mistakes that hurt people’s immigration cases can help you become a naturalized citizen.