The increase in the number of legal permanent residents applying for U.S. citizenship in 2016 is at its highest level in four years. This is a common trend during election years when more applicants apply so they can vote in the upcoming election. Some analysts predict that the increase is related to the highly heated presidential election and fears of adverse immigration consequences for lawful permanent residents.
Now that the election has passed, interestingly, there are still increased naturalization applications. It appears that this is a trend is in part to avoid increased fees beginning on December 23. And secondly, as many still fear drastic changes in immigration laws under the Trump presidency. Those naturalization applicants that have criminal backgrounds should be careful when filing for citizenship to make certain their crimes don’t have removal/deportation consequences. Currently, most citizenship applications take approximately 7 months until completion which time frame will hopefully continue through 2017.
It is essential that an attorney is consulted when dealing with a situation such as criminal history, delinquent taxes, excessive travel etc. in order to increase the chances of success and prevent the initiation of removal proceedings. Further, it is recommended that an attorney be consulted when contemplating any type of immigration application to obtain the best results.