This week, the New York Times reported on a spike in naturalization applications from Latino immigrants in Colorado and nationwide. Many applicants say they are motivated to become citizens in time for this year’s presidential election, so they can vote against Donald Trump. Latinos, especially Mexicans, with permanent U.S. residency have historically lagged behind immigrants from other parts of the world when it comes to naturalization. Even though many Latinos are legally in the U.S., the majority never become citizens. Now, due to the upcoming presidential election, many Latinos are taking that final step. The naturalization process usually takes around five months, so applicants should be eligible to vote in elections this November.
Naturalization drives are taking place in Colorado and other states where Latino voters could make a big impact on election results. The National Partnership for New Americans held a workshop in Denver recently. The organization’s deputy director said, “People who are eligible are really feeling the urgency to get out there.”
Are you elligible for U.S. citizenship?
If you or a family member is interested in becoming a citizen in time for the election, you will first need to determine if you are eligible. Then, you will need to complete the N-400, Application for Naturalization, accurately to ensure there are no issues or setbacks that could delay the process.
Generally, you will meet the requirements for naturalization if you have been a permanent resident for at least five years (three years if married to a U.S. citizen), you are over 18, you have basic English literacy skills and you can pass a basic civics test.
Practice the test online, pay by credit card
Some green-card holders have been hesitant to pursue citizenship in the past because they are afraid they won’t pass the test. Others are deterred by the cost of applying. However, this year, immigrants seeking citizenship will benefit from a new federal program under President Obama that allows them to practice the test online and pay the fee with a credit card.
At Ramos Immigration Law, we can help you prepare for the application process, complete the N-400 form and provide you with advice and counsel at every step. We invite you to contact us to schedule a consultation today.
Source: The New York Times, “More Latinos Seek Citizenship to Vote Against Trump,” Julia Preston, March 7, 2016