My question is whether we need to hire an attorney to facilitate my husband's citizenship application. He has a coworker who used one himself and insists a lawyer is necessary because the stakes are so high. The coworkers situation is a bit different, though, since he had two DUIs on his record. My husband has a clean record, never arrested or charged with anything.
We have been married close to a decade, have a small child together, and he has had his green card for about five years (yes, he procrastinated and waited longer than the necessary time period to apply for his green card). In the end that was a really easy application and interview process, though we did have a lawyer because his firm hired one to accompany us.
Looking at the US citizenship application and the documents checklist, the process seems really straight-forward and pretty simple. My inclination is to have him fill out the application, send the photos, fee, and documents
(a copy of our marriage certificate, my passport, and an IRS return transcript for the last three years), and wait to hear back. My husband's inclination is to pay for a lawyer because better safe than sorry and what if they deport him, etc. I'd rather avoid hiring a lawyer because of the expense and also the trouble of looking for one, meeting with them, and whatever else it entails. If we did it ourselves I could have the application in the mail right away.
Does anyone have experience with this process? Is it necessary to hire a lawyer, or is it as straightforward as it seems? Looking at the checklist, is it OK to send the minimum amount of documents required or should I just send copies of everything (specifically where it says "documents referring to you and your spouse" it says either tax returns, leases, bank accounts, mortgages, birth certificates, OR return transcript from IRS for three years)?
We live in the SF Bay Area.
(anon because my spouse considers his immigration status to be very private)