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Illinois immigration lawyerIf you are getting ready to go through the naturalization process, congratulations—you have probably been waiting for this moment for many years! Despite the normal feeling of nervousness you may have, remember that more than seven million foreign nationals have become American citizens in the past 10 years and they had to go through the same process as you.

With the help of an experienced Illinois immigration attorney, you can get through your naturalization interview and start your new life as an American citizen. Here are a few tips to help you prepare.

Know What to Expect

At your naturalization interview, a USCIS employee will ask you many questions. These usually include questions about your background, who you are as a person, how you feel about America, where you live, and more. You may be asked about recent travels outside the United States or crimes you have committed. You will be briefly tested on your English skills and your knowledge of American civics (government and history). Sometimes interviews are recorded - this does not mean that you have done anything wrong, but rather that the interview may be used for training new USCIS employees.


Lombard immigration lawyerPeople who come to the United States may not have done so because they are looking for love, but they very often find it. When someone is in the United States legally, whether on a tourist visa, student visa, or work visa, they may find someone they want to spend their life with and decide to get married. When this happens, the visa holder and their spouse will need to go through an Adjustment of Status process to get the foreign spouse a Green Card.

Because getting married is one of the easier paths to getting a Green Card (and therefore citizenship), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is very sensitive to the potential for fraud in these cases. It is important, therefore, to have an immigration attorney who can help you carefully prepare your application and get ready for the notoriously difficult Marriage Green Card interview.

Preparing for a Marriage Green Card Interview

The interview itself is the last step in the initial Green Card application process. Before you schedule the interview, you will need to fill out a significant amount of paperwork, including proof that your relationship and marriage are legitimate. Such proof can include:


Illinois immigration lawyerAlthough first-generation immigrants in the United States are consistently shown to commit crimes at lower rates than those who were born in American, immigrants face disproportionate risks from being convicted of a crime - up to, and including, deportation. Even immigrants with green cards can be deported for violating certain laws.

Not all criminal convictions trigger deportation proceedings, and it is important to know which crimes could get you deported. If you are not a U.S. citizen and you have been accused of a crime, or even if you are just being investigated for a crime, it is important to retain aggressive legal immigration and criminal defense representation from an experienced Illinois attorney.

Crimes of Moral Turpitude

“Turpitude” is a somewhat old-fashioned word that means “evil” or “wickedness.” American courts have defined crimes of moral turpitude as those which involve fraud, larceny, and the intent to harm people or things. For example, theft - taking someone else’s property with the intent to permanently deprive that person of it - is usually a crime of moral turpitude. So are assault, domestic violence, and many other crimes involving lying, cheating, or violence. However, some crimes of this nature are considered petty enough not to be classified as a crime of moral turpitude, such as shoplifting goods valued under a certain amount of money.


Illinois student visa attorneyStudents coming to study in the United States are often excited at the prospect of many years of hard work and preparation finally coming to fruition. If you are attending an Illinois university this fall, you may have many questions about what your student visa allows you to do now that you are here. If you have not yet applied to an Illinois university, you likely have questions about student visas and perhaps even what your options may be once your studies are through. Whatever your situation may be, you can get help from an Illinois immigration attorney who knows the law and can answer your questions.

F-1 and M-1 Student Visas

An F-1 student visa allows a student to come to the U.S. and attend an accredited college or training program and work towards a degree or certificate. An M-1 student visa is similar to an F-1 student visa, except that it allows students to attend non-academic programs, such as vocational training in mechanics, cosmetology, or a similar non-academic field.

F-1 student visa holders can usually only work for their university during the first year. Even with on-campus work, not any job will do; the job must generally be located on the university’s campus and the student must be paid from their university’s payroll. Students cannot work more than 20 hours per week during the school year, but they may work more than 20 hours between semesters or during summer vacation. Any off-campus work must usually be related to the student’s area of study and needs to be authorized beforehand.


Illinois immigration attorneyJust two months after the Supreme Court authorized the Executive Branch’s authority to do so, the Biden administration made an announcement early last month that it would be ending an immigration policy that required individuals from Central and South America seeking asylum in the United States to stay in Mexico while their cases waited for a chance to be heard in court.

Moving forward, no further applicants will be enrolled in the so-called “Remain in Mexico” program and applicants will no longer have to go back to Mexico in between hearings. Officials stated that the policy imposes “unjustifiable” costs to both human rights, as well as limited border security resources.

What is the Policy for U.S. Asylum Seekers Now?

People seeking asylum in the United States come after being persecuted because of their political opinions, religious beliefs, race, nationality, or membership in social groups. Asylum seekers face real harm, including extrajudicial torture and killings in many high-risk areas. The United States recognizes that people sometimes need protection and offers that protection to legitimate victims of persecution or potential persecution.

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