After years of jumping through hoops and making sure that everything remains legal, hundreds of thousands of people now have a significant wait ahead of them. Reports indicate that approximately 700,000 people across the country could face a wait of up to two years in order to become citizens. That number could include many people here in Florida who are otherwise eligible for citizenship.
The process used to take somewhere around six months if all went according to plan. However, changes in immigration laws under the current administration have caused significant delays for many applicants. Some blame the current political climate for the delays, but government officials say that the delays result from the sheer number of applications. Paperwork backlog means that it could take anywhere from 10 months to two years or more before an applicant can take the oath and become a citizen.
Regardless of the underlying reasons for the delays, it is the applicants whose lives hang in the balance. In addition, they may wonder whether their ability to remain in the country could be compromised since they will remain immigrants while they wait. Any misstep these days could result in the threat of deportation.
Some people are discovering that the government is questioning whether some people should even be permanent residents, let alone citizens. For this reason and others, it may be a good idea for permanent residents residing here in Florida to consult with an immigration attorney regarding their citizenship applications. Having a legal advocate on your side could increase the chances of getting through the process unscathed and receiving U.S. citizenship in the end.