In some cases, you should. The lawyer can give you advice about whether to apply and how to fill out the papers. The lawyer can also give you advice about if there is any risk that you could be deported because of something in your history. Talk to a lawyer if you:
- Spent more than 6 months outside the U.S., since you came to the U.S.
- Had alcohol or drug problems, including Khat or illegal drugs.
- Were arrested or charged with a crime, even if it's been expunged.
- Were charged or convicted for domestic abuse or someone had an Order for Protection (OFP) against you.
- Are on parole or probation
- Didn’t pay child support you had to pay within the past 5 years.
- Did not file income tax returns when you should have or if you owe taxes.
- Were married when you entered the U.S., but you applied to come here as an “unmarried refugee child”.
- Have not been truthful with Immigration in the past.
- Didn’t register for the military draft as a young man between the age of 18 and 26.
- Were in the Communist Party.
- Were in any racist or hate group, or a group that wanted to overthrow the U.S. government.
- Have any questions about any changes in your life which may affect your immigration status.
- Want to change your name as part of the citizenship process.
Tell the truth in your application and at your interview. One shoplifting offense 10 years ago may not keep you from being a citizen, but lying about it could.