Authorized Assist Is Obtainable Even For Individuals Who Can't Afford It

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Q: I’ve been a everlasting resident for 31 years and now I wish to develop into a U.S. citizen. I’ve learn that the method could be very difficult and that I might want to rent a lawyer. Is that true? I’m receiving Supplemental Safety Earnings, so paying a lawyer could be troublesome.

Olivia Ayala, by electronic mail

A: For many candidates, the naturalization utility course of is straightforward and also you might be able to proceed with out a lawyer. Nonetheless, with a lot free or low-cost immigration regulation providers accessible, I recommend you get professional assist along with your utility.

Some naturalization instances are difficult. I’d be significantly involved when you have a legal file, when you have been overseas for greater than six steady months previously 5 years or if you happen to ever claimed U.S. citizenship, together with by registering to vote. Even with considered one of these issues, you nonetheless could qualify to naturalize.

Up to now yr, since immigration turned a central situation in nationwide politics, non-public foundations and lots of metropolis and state governments have poured sources into serving to immigrants develop into U.S. residents. You’ll find a nationwide listing of free and low-cost immigration regulation service suppliers on-line on the web site of the Immigrants Advocacy Community at IAN additionally affords free naturalization utility help on-line at When you stay in New York State, you may get assist by calling the state Workplace of New Individuals hotline, (800) 566-7636. In New York Metropolis, name 311.

Q: The police arrested me for public drunkenness, however a decide dismissed the case. Can I develop into a U.S. citizen? My arrest was in 2014. The officer stated I used to be drunk although I solely had two beers over two hours.

Title withheld, by electronic mail

A: You’ll be able to doubtless naturalize regardless of your arrest. A dismissed legal case solely hardly ever impacts on immigration standing or the fitting to naturalize. A single alcohol-related crime is normally not an issue. Readers ought to observe that alcoholism is a brief bar to naturalization. People with a couple of alcohol-related incident of their file ought to convey proof of rehabilitation and restoration to their naturalization interview.

Allan Wernick is an legal professional and director of the Metropolis College of New York’s Citizenship Now! undertaking. Ship questions and feedback to Allan Wernick, New York Day by day Information, four New York Plaza, New York, NY 10004 or electronic mail to [email protected] Comply with him on Twitter @awernick.

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