Expedited Naturalization allows spouses of United States Citizens who are working in certain overseas positions to naturalize even if they have not resided in the U.S. for the normally required period of time, which is either 5-years from the “as of” date noted on their 10-year U.S. permanent resident card, if the Petitioner was not the spouse or 3-years, if they were. The law aims to prevent legal permanent residents from losing their status and their chance to apply for naturalization based on the residency requirement, through no fault of their own when their respective spouse works abroad.
Without the law, these legal permanent residents would lose their status and the clock would continue to reset for their eligibility to submit and be considered for U.S. Citizenship.
The requirements to apply for Expedited Naturalization are as follows.
The applicant must:
- Be a legal permanent resident with a 10 year card and be married to a United States Citizen.
- Have a spouse who is now and regularly stationed abroad. The spouse must be employed (or contracted) and must be scheduled to work abroad for at least a year following your naturalization (NATZ) interview with one of several recognized organizations, including the U.S. government, corporations engaged in foreign trade, research institutions recognized by the Attorney General, public international organizations and religious denominations organized in the U.S.
- Have intent to take up residence in the U.S. upon the end of the spouse’s overseas employment.
The application for Expedited Naturalization can be filed according to USCIS guidelines and can be filed in any part of the country at any time after acquiring 10-year legal permanent resident status.
Depending on which USCIS office you apply through, each will have processing times and these times will determine how quickly your NATZ application can be processed. Larger USCIS offices will generally be more familiar with the process, as well as better equipped to assist you and provide customer service. Some USCIS offices extend more effort than others to perform interviews and oath ceremonies on the same day.
Before or after filing the N-400 Naturalization (“NATZ”) Application, the applicant can be fingerprinted in the U.S. or at a nearby U.S. embassy or consulate. Once the application has been processed and approved, the NATZ interview and the oath ceremony may or may not be conducted the same day. However, the applicant may have to attend an interview in the U.S., wait for their swearing-in ceremony in the U.S., or return to their foreign residence until the ceremony is scheduled. Hiring a competent immigration attorney to represent you throughout this process can ensure that proper evidence is submitted and that the timing of the final process works for you and flows smoothly.
If you are interested in hiring an attorney to assist you in filing for Expedited Naturalization or if you have further questions as to whether or not you qualify for the Expedited Naturalization process, contact Goldstein & Scopellite, PC. Goldstein & Scopellite, PC has served the Dallas – Fort Worth, Texas Metroplex and all surrounding areas with quality representation since 2002, and has recently opened its new office in the Phoenix – Tucson, Arizona area.
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