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Becoming a U.S. Citizen is an important step in many people's lives. There are multiple ways to become a U.S. Citizen, including: being born in the United States; acquisition at birth; deriving citizenship through the naturalization or U.S. birth of a parent; posthumous citizenship through death while on active duty service; after 3 years of lawful permanent residence based on marriage to a U.S citizen, or 5 years of lawful permanent residence (along with other requirements).
There are many naturalization and citizenship programs that you may fall under and every naturalization program has its own eligibility requirements. When applying for naturalization, some issues may make you ineligible, such as criminal arrests or convictions, selective service compliance, good moral character, lengthy absences from the United States and false claims to citizenship. It's best to consult with A Philadelphia immigration attorney who handles citizenship and naturalization cases to facilitate and assist in your case.
It is in your best interest to get legal help early on in addressing your situation. There are times when hiring a lawyer quickly is critical to your case, such as if you are charged with a crime. It may also be in your best interest to have a lawyer review the fine print before signing legal documents. A lawyer can also help you get the compensation you deserve if you've suffered a serious injury. For issues where money or property is at stake, having a lawyer guide you through the complexities of the legal system can save you time, hassle, and possibly a lot of grief in the long run.
Prepare for your consultation by writing down notes of your understanding of the case, jot down questions and concerns for the attorney, and gather your documents. Remember that you are trying to get a sense of whether the attorney has your trust and can help you address your legal issues. Questions should include how the attorney intends to resolve your issue, how many years he/she has been practicing law and specifically practicing in your area, as well as how many cases similar to yours the attorney has handled. It can also be helpful to broach the subject of fees so that you understand the likely cost and structure of your representation by a specific attorney and/or legal team.
A reputable attorney will be very upfront about how he/she will charge you. The three most common fee structures that attorneys use to charge for their services are:
Depending on your specific legal situation, it's possible that only one type of fee structure is available. For instance, criminal defense attorneys almost always bill by the hour. In a flat fee arrangement, an attorney accepts a one-time payment to help you resolve your issue. With a contingent fee agreement, the client pays little to nothing upfront and the attorney receives a percentage of the money recovered if you win your case.