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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    1

    Default Employment Based Green Card to Naturalization - Time to Apply, How to Apply, Advice

    Good Morning All,
    I have been in the US for more than a decade. Throughout this time I held F1 and H1B visas and subsequently, about 5 years ago, obtained permanent residency through my employment. My questions are:
    1) When can I apply for naturalization? More specifically, do I have to wait for 5 years or can I apply earlier?

    2) Thankfully I did not have any complications in my immigration process in the past. Given this fact, can I handle the process on my own without professional assistance?

    3) If I need assistance, what are the levels of assistance available (i.e. hiring a professional for the whole process vs. working with a professional on the “tricky” aspects of the process)?

    4) How much does the application process cost?
    - Self application
    - With the help of a professional

    5) Do you any advice for me regarding the process overall?

    Thank you so much for everyone’s time and effort in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    1,695

    Default Re: Employment Based Green Card to Naturalization - Time to Apply, How to Apply, Advi

    You may apply 90 days (be sure not 3 months) before your anniversary date. Review the USCIS documentation available online.

    Since it is not complicated if you are not dealing with "issues" such as criminal convictions, many people do it all on their own. There is the alternative to the all or nothing involvement of an attorney; have a consultation with him to go over your case and map out a strategy, do the work yourself, and have him review all of your work before submitting it. Attorney fees will vary greatly depending on the experience and location of the firm. Be sure to use only an attorney and not some of the immigration agencies. Check with a number of firms for estimates of fees.

    You likely have family and friends who have gone through the process; ask them what they thought. Sometimes it is better to pay the professionals if it will keep you from other things that you need to do. Remember, patience will still be needed. Make sure to do it right even if it takes longer than expected since it will take even longer to do it over. The actual ceremony delays will vary between locations so even applying promptly and doing everything right may have a disappointingly long time to wait for the oath.

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