I am pleased to announce that I have merged my practice with Felhaber Larson in Minneapolis. This will allow me to offer a greater range of immigration services to my existing clients and new clients. Please contact me to schedule a consultation or call me at
There are several criteria to becoming a naturalized citizen of the United States. I am able to help you understand the process and be your partner on your journey to becoming a citizen. It is important to work with an experienced immigration lawyer through this process. Making a small mistake early on in your immigration history, or in any of your past
immigration applications, could prevent you from obtaining your U.S. citizenship.
When Can I File?
If you are married to U.S. citizen and you have had your green card for at least three years, you can file your naturalization application. If you obtained your green card through employment or another family member, you will be able to file after five years.
Keep in mind that any time spent outside of the U.S. may extend the three-or-five-year waiting period. You must live in the U.S. the majority of the time and intend to make the U.S. your permanent home. You cannot live in a foreign country or remain out of the U.S.
for extended periods of time.
You risk abandoning your permanent resident status after six months and may lose it after twelve months out of the U.S. There are few exceptions but an advance permission to leave and return after six months, may be available in certain situations.
In order to become a citizen you need to demonstrate that you are making the U.S. your permanent home and will abide by the laws.
Planning a trip outside the U.S.?
Check with an attorney before you leave to make sure you won’t lose your green card status or jeopardize your timeframe for becoming a citizen.
Starting the application process?
Talk with an attorney first. I will work with you to gather the proper documentation and file your N-400 application for citizenship with USCIS. We will discuss your past immigration history to make sure there are no issues that could place you in danger of deportation or cause USCIS to deny your application.
It is much better if I understand and know about any potential issues in advance of filing your application. That way, I can determine if there is a way to fix any problems or advise you of other options that still allow you to remain in the U.S. Anyone with a criminal history, no matter how insignificant, should consult with an experienced immigration attorney.
Finally, I will help you prepare for your interview and for your naturalization exam. It is very important to understand the order of the interview, how you should respond to questions, how you present yourself and how to remain calm, confident and answer truthfully and
What is the process?
First you need to know whether you are eligible for naturalization or not.
Talk with an immigration attorney, especially about these topics:
Be honest about any criminal background
Tell me about your country of origin and why you left
Which social or athletic clubs do you belong to and whether you are affiliated with a religious church, temple, mosque or other place of worship
How long have you been out of the country and how many trips have you
taken and where
I’ll provide you with a list of the documentation that supports your individual application for citizenship. Your application may require a different set of documents than someone else’s application. Your situation and your application are unique to you.
I’ll complete and file the proper applications
USCIS acknowledges receipt of application
Shortly after you receive your Receipt Notice from USCIS, you will receive a form
with a scheduled biometrics appointment time
Eventually, you’ll receive an Interview Notice based upon your application
If you pass the short exam and your application is approved, within a few months you will be invited to the oath ceremony where you will receive your Certificate of Naturalization and officially be a United States citizen
While it may seem like a difficult and risky process, I will be with you every step of the way.