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Thread: Lawyer for Naturalization

  1. #1
    Hi,

    I am ready to file for my citizenship next month but wondering if I need a lawyer to file for me. My case is simple. I've been having green card for more than 5 years and will reach the 30 months residency requirement next month. Do people like me usually just file by themselves or no matter how straightforward the case is, it's always better to have a lawyer. Please advise. thank you.

  2. #2
    Hi,

    I am ready to file for my citizenship next month but wondering if I need a lawyer to file for me. My case is simple. I've been having green card for more than 5 years and will reach the 30 months residency requirement next month. Do people like me usually just file by themselves or no matter how straightforward the case is, it's always better to have a lawyer. Please advise. thank you.

  3. #3
    Hiring a lawyer for citizenship would be the easiest money a lawyer could earn for doing nothing...........you do not need a lawyer. I am applying for citizenship in May and I am all set to go with the forms etc and just have to wait until I become eligible to apply(may).

  4. #4
    Are u eligible to file or not?

    check with check list on INS
    5 year is not enough
    if you stayed out side for 1 year or more
    so it is better to check with checklist on INS site

    ok
    uj

  5. #5
    Thanks for the replies.
    My only concern is that I was out of the States for peiords longer than 6 months but less than one year during the past five years. I did have re-entry permit during those times. From the eligible work sheet on INS web site, I am eligible to file because I didn't leave the US for more than one year. But in the Naturalization guide, it says if one person has been out of the States for more than 6 months but less than one year,he or she has broken the contineous residency requirement unless proving his/her intention to keep residency during thoes periods otherwise. and in N-400 instruction, it doesn't say any documents would need to be attached to N-400 to prove intention for keeping resident status. Will I encounter any problems in my application? Please advise. Thank you very much.

  6. #6
    Count four years and one day after the date of re-entry permit. Any period before re-entry permit will not be considered.

  7. #7
    Hi Jane
    You never lose anything from consulting a lawyer. you may have to pay for consultations, but you are better off getting advice than proceeding on your own. My advice is consult a lawyer(preferably 1 or 2 ) and then make a decision based on the information you get from them. Or you will waste the $310 application fee , wait 1 year and get your petition denied.

  8. #8
    Hi Jane
    If you left the USA because of a work related abscence or family medical emergency, then you not have much of a problem. However, you did not indicate how long you stay out and why. If you have any more questions, you can reach me at Oklaw1@netzero.com

  9. #9
    You need a lawyer if:
    1. You are a big business
    2. You are appearing before a judge
    3. You are illiterate

    So, unless you plan on filing a lawsuit to become a US citizen or it says General Electric on your driver's license, you do not need a lawyer.

    What can a lawyer do for you:
    1. Tell you if you if you meet the statutory requirements. You can do the same thing by going through the "Am I eligible for naturalization?" checklist.
    2. Present your material in a favorable fashion. You can do the same thing with a little effort. Get originals and certified copies of your documentation for marital status, travel history, taxes, etc.
    3. Sit quietly in the corner while you have your interview. You can take the test and answer the questions by yourself. In fact, you have to.

    What a lawyer can not do for you:
    1. Make you eligible for a statutory requirement you do not meet.

    Speaking of which, travel outside of the US for more than 6 months but less than one year MAY break your resident status for naturalization. You have to prove that it didn't. Did you work overseas or file taxes as a nonresident? If you answered YES, then count four years and one day from your return because that is when you are eligible to file for naturalization. Did you leave family, a house, a car, or stuff in storage? If you answered NO, then start thinking creatively to come up with evidence that you were intending to remain a US resident.

  10. #10
    I thought only when you leave the country for more than 1 year with a re-entry permit then you have to start counting residency from the time you come back. But I never leave the country for more than one year. I was working overseas during those periods but never file for US tax because my income was low enough not to report to US government, if my understanding about the tax laws is correct.

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