Individuals who have been waiting on United States citizenship for a while may have to wait even longer. Due to some of this administration’s immigration policies and other factors, the naturalization process has slowed dramatically. Despite this, there has been an increase in the number of people applying to become U.S. citizens. These applicants are facing longer processing times, higher fees, more intense vetting standards and more.
For many of those in Florida waiting for the remaining step of the citizenship process, voting in the upcoming election is a primary goal. However, this will not be possible if delays continue and naturalization ceremonies are put off. The current administration claims to be in favor of legal immigration, but many of the policies that have been put into place have made it more difficult than ever for those seeking to accomplish this in a reasonable time frame.
An applicant must be at least 18 years of age to apply to start the naturalization process, but only after the individual has been a legal resident in the country for three to five years. On average, the process takes between eight and nine months to complete, which is a 50% increase in the wait time since January 2017. New, more extreme vetting processes take longer to complete.
With the naturalization process more complicated and longer than at any other point, it is beneficial for someone attempting to navigate this process to work with an experienced attorney. A Florida immigration lawyer can provide invaluable and important guidance from start to finish. With counsel, an applicant will be less likely to commit missteps that could cause problems or delays.