Newly naturalized citizens are once again able to swear their allegiance to America and receive their naturalization certificates in the state of Indiana. However, not as many people are attending these services as they did before the virus outbreak.
The doors to the Immigration Welcome Center in Indianapolis had been closed to visitors for three months. This is the place where immigrants can find information on current events in immigration law and perform the steps necessary to facilitate their own process for naturalization.
The center shut down as part of the effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus. The virtual immigration classes now offered by the center has helped to relieve some of the congestion the system has experienced due to the shutdown.
Representatives working for the Immigration Welcome Center warn that it will be quite sometime before the center is able to catch up with the backlog of immigrants in search of the American Dream. For many immigrants, naturalization plays a large role in the fulfillment of that dream. The coronavirus has greatly complicated a process that was already difficult to navigate.
One cause of the backlog is that people who have already completed their applications have not been allowed to complete their interviews.
When the fieldhouse for the United States Citizen and Immigration Service reopened for limited operation in mid-May, approximately 650 people were prepared to take the oath for naturalization. That number is climbing steadily as social distancing protocol makes it necessary for the center to limit operations to 25 ceremonies a day. A total of five people may attend each ceremony.
The virtual courses offered by the Welcome Center will help individuals prepare for interviews who already possess the legal right to live permanently in the country.
The steps necessary to complete the naturalization process are long, complex, and relatively expensive. The process may become a little smoother for immigrants who consult with an immigration attorney. A lawyer with experience pertaining to the naturalization process can help save both time and money by ensuring that all steps in the process are completed correctly the first time.