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Mistakes to avoid when applying for U.S. citizenship

If you came to the United States on vacation, to work or to visit family and decide you want to stay, there are many pathways to citizenship. Almost all of them are difficult to handle without the help of a knowledgeable attorney.

Close to 700,000 people become naturalized citizens every year in the United States per the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, and most will tell you that it takes patience, diligence and hard work to get there. Some simple mistakes can hurt your chances of getting citizenship, cost you extra time and money, and even have your request denied. At a time when tensions surrounding immigration are high, you should know how to keep a low profile and avoid mistakes that are common for those applying for citizenship.

Fail to prepare

Thousands of applications are denied each year, many because the paperwork was not complete. Always double check your application form and make sure all required documents are present. Include all required application fees when you submit your order. Submit documents on time. If the document submission schedule confuses you, it is a good idea to retain help.

Treat the interview lightly

Once you submit all of your documents, you may have a naturalization interview scheduled with the USCIS. Bring all your documents to this appointment. You will only receive one notice for this appointment, so make sure you are on time and remember that if you must reschedule your appointment, it could take month to do so. If you move while you are waiting for an interview appointment, always notify USCIS of your new address.

During your interview, they may ask for evidence supporting your case, information about your character, background and attachment to the Constitution, and even your willingness to take the Oath. Practice giving your answers so you sound natural during your interview.

Going it alone

The naturalization process is extremely complicated, and you should have an advocate in your corner immediately. If you are seeking citizenship, you might consider consulting an attorney immediately.

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