Should I Hire An Attorney To Complete My Citizenship Application?

Note: The DearEsq free 'ask a lawyer' site is offered as a free informational service to the public and is not intended as legal advice. Laws vary from state-to-state, and in addition every situation is unique, and relevant facts may not be known. The answer to the question posed below may not apply to in your state or to your situation. For legal advice in your state and your situation you should consult with an attorney in your state who is familiar with the rules and laws in your state.

Originally I got my Green card through political asylum. At first the USCIS refused my application and I had to go in front of a Judge and the Judge granted me the Green Card. Years later I applied for my Citizenship and I answered one question wrong by mistake on the N400 application (the question that says “Have you ever been under removal proceedings…”). I answered with a “NO” instead of a Yes because I did not understand that at the time when I applied for asylum and the USCIS refused it it meant that I was under removal proceedings. So, I maintained this same thinking in the Citizenship interview and the Immigration Officer failed me because it was considered lying. I then realized my mistake and hired a lawyer to explain that it was my misunderstanding and a mistake that I answered that way but the USCIS did not buy the explanation. So now it has been another five years and I would like to apply again. The question: Do I have a good chance to apply for Citizenship again? Do I need a lawyer? Should I get letters from sources that will testify to my good moral character? Thank you.

Having an attorney is not required for the naturalization process, and many people successfully complete the process without one. However, your previous experience has demonstrated how tricky the process can be. The Immigration and Naturalization Act is very long and complicated, and then the Department of Homeland Security has its own regulations that guide its decisions. It is very easy to make a mistake on your application without ever intending to. For this
reason, hiring an immigration attorney to help you with your application and packet can be money well spent. At the very least, it will take away some of the stress of the process. It can also help prevent innocent errors like the one you made on your previous application.

The naturalization process is highly discretionary, so it’s not possible to say whether the chances of your application being approved are high. Anything that can help support your application, however, would be beneficial. This includes letters of reference from employers, neighbors, local officials, etc. that can attest to your good moral character, your honesty, your employability, and any other beneficial quality you can think of. Generally, naturalization is permanent, which means it can t be revoked after it’s given, so the officials reviewing your application want to make sure they’re making the right choice in accepting it.