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Large backlog building up for U.S. naturalization applications

Certain things can lead to an immigrant encountering delays when they are pursuing U.S. citizenship. One are backlogs in the handling of naturalization applications.

Such a backlog is building up in California and in the U.S. as a whole. Purportedly, nationwide, there are over 500,000 applications for naturalization that are in “pending” status.

California is home to around one-fifth of these applications. Also, while California has not seen as big of a backlog increase as some other states have this year, its increase is still pretty large. It is estimated that the state’s backlog is 30 percent larger than it was last year.

Many factors are being cited for the growing backlogs, including increased demand for naturalization due to things like: citizenship promotion efforts, the possibility of increases in application fees in the near future and the upcoming presidential election.

With this upcoming election, one of the hopes those who have applications pending may have is that they will get citizenship in time to vote. However, the backlog may prevent many of these individuals from realizing this hope. With the current backlog, it seems likely that quite a few of the naturalization applications that are out there will not get out of pending status until after the chance to be able to vote in this election has passed.

As this illustrates, delays when it comes to the naturalization process could have big implications for an immigrant and their ability to achieve their particular goals.

Now, in addition to backlogs, another thing that could lead to delays is making mistakes when applying for citizenship. Given the big impacts delays can have, such mistakes can be a critical thing to avoid. This is one reason why an immigrant may want to have a skilled immigration lawyer’s guidance when applying for citizenship.

Source: CBS SF Bay Area, “Naturalization Backlog May Stop Immigrants From Voting In Key States,” Hannah Albarazi, Sept. 30, 2016

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