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3 Important Steps to Take After Becoming a Naturalized U.S. Citizen

Posted on in Immigration

Stamford citizenship naturalization attorneyIf you have recently become a naturalized U.S. citizen, there are several steps you should take within a month or two of receiving your Certificate of Naturalization. 

Update Social Security With Your Citizenship Status

You should already have a Social Security number and card, because these are required to work in the U.S. When a lawful permanent resident (LPR) becomes a naturalized citizen, you must inform the Social Security Administration (SSA) of this change in status. To do this, take your Certificate of Naturalization to the nearest SSA office. It is recommended that you wait about two weeks after naturalization to do this.

There are several reasons why it is important to update your Social Security record. First, if you changed your name at your naturalization ceremony, you must officially inform the SSA of your name change. This is necessary to ensure that all of your employment records under different names remain linked together. 

Second, your SSA record must show your correct status for employment purposes. When you start a new job, you are required to complete an Employment Eligibility Verification (I-9) form. This form specifically asks whether you are a U.S. citizen, a lawful permanent resident, or have some other form of authorization to work in the U.S. Your employer will then enter your Social Security number into the federal E-Verify program to confirm your eligibility to work in the U.S. What you check on the I-9 form must match what appears in the E-Verify program.

Apply for a U.S. Passport for Proof of Citizenship

There are several reasons you should always have an up-to-date U.S. passport. First, it serves as evidence of citizenship and can be used in place of your Certificate of Naturalization when proof of citizenship is required. Second, you will need a U.S. passport in order to travel abroad. If your home country allows dual citizenship, you can keep and use your non-U.S. passport when traveling to other countries. However, you must have a U.S. passport in order to leave and re-enter the United States. 

To apply for your U.S. passport, you must submit your original Certificate of Naturalization (Form N-550) plus a photocopy of it. That means your Certificate will probably be out of your hands for several weeks; it will be returned with your passport. Keep a photocopy of your Certificate for your own records. 

Register to Vote as a Citizen of Connecticut or New York

One of the most important rights and obligations of U.S. citizenship is voting. You must register to vote in the city and state where you live. Many states, including Connecticut and New York, allow online voter registration. 

Talk to a Fairfield County, CT Immigration and Naturalization Lawyer

If you are not yet a naturalized citizen, talk to an experienced Stamford citizenship and naturalization lawyer about the benefits of citizenship. Gonzalez Law Office, LLC has been helping families with immigration and naturalization applications for over 15 years. Call us at 203-323-1440.





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