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In the country 12 years; no progress to citizenship (?)

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What is the name of your state? Washington D.C.

I am writing on behalf of a friend. He has been in the U.S. for 12 years from the former Soviet Union (Moscow). He works as an office manager at a hospital.

He apparently gets his work permit renewed each year but does not know how to take the next step toward citizenship. [He would also like to visit his family back in Russia but can't because he is not a citizen ... apparently ... I don't want to get off on that tangent since I think his main aim is to become a citizen but this is what is prompting him at this moment].

What is his next step?

Does he need a lawyer or can he do it on his own?

Thanks for any information!


Senior Member
The following site has a great deal of information regarding naturalization. Many applications/forms are available for download. For my daughter (an international adoptee), I merely obtained and completed the forms, attached the required documents, and sent it in. Many people do complete Naturalization without legal help, if they can easily provide all the required, proper documentation that must accompany the application. If he reads this over, (or someone else does on his behalf) and he is still uncertain, he may be better off seeking legal assistance.



it cannot be counted how many years to be US citicizenship because of his H1 status.

What is his next step?
The next step is ask his employment to give him a sponcer to apply green card. H1 visa work permit perosn is only foreigner status and cannot apply directly to US citizenship.

Does he need a lawyer or can he do it on his own?
Yes he needs a lawer because for the H1 visa status to apply green card depending on case by case so better to ask a lawer first what kind of document does he needs and what kind of document he can get from his employment etc. Then if it is eligible please apply green card together with I 131 advance perole (welknown as reentry permit) and when he get that he can back visit to home.
Please find some lawer for free advise to be sure his case is eligible to green card or not. Hope this help.


Before your friend can become a citizen, he first has to be a legal resident of the us. So, as MMM2003 already said, he has to be sponsored. I assume he has an H1 visa, so the best thing would be to ask his employer to sponsor him. He definitely should consult an immigration attorney, because it's not always easy and depends on the need for workers in his profession.

OK, this is so helpful. My friend read the posts and came back and said that I had it wrong that he *is* a legal citizen but he is waiting on his "Permanent Residentship Card" and has been waiting a long time and can't get an answer as to why he hasn't received it. Sorry I was confused. Does this help and any ideas? Thanks, Melissa


Was he officially granted legal permanent residency but haven't received the actual card yet? Or is he still in the process of applying for residency (eg. being sponsored) and the process is taking very long?
In either case, he should contact the bcis office where his case was processed and file inquiry as to the status of his case.
If it is the process that is taking very long, then it may be only that the immigrant visa category he is in, has a limited number of visas available each year, eg. if you are sponsored by your sibling who is a us citizen, you are looking at a 12 year waiting time.

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