The road to U.S. citizenship can be long. However, if you follow the right process and file the right paperwork, you can realize your dream of becoming a U.S. citizen. If you decide to apply to become a U.S. citizen, you will be showing your commitment to the U.S. and your loyalty to its Constitution. In return, you are rewarded with all the rights and privileges that are part of U.S. citizenship.
Becoming a citizen through naturalization is a process in which a non-U.S. citizen voluntarily becomes an American citizen.
Steps to U.S. Citizenship (Naturalization) Overview:
To apply for U.S. citizenship, you must have had a permanent resident green card (immigrant visa) for at least five years, or for at least three years if you’re filing as the spouse of a U.S. citizen. Also, you must meet some basic criteria to be eligible. You must be at least 18 years old at the time of filing. You must be able to read, write, and speak basic English, and you must demonstrate good moral character.
Once you apply for U.S. citizenship using the proper forms and paperwork, the government will ask you to show evidence of your continuous residence in the U.S. This is typically done in a face-to-face interview. They will also require you to take the naturalization test. The naturalization test includes questions from two main sections: English and civics (history and government). There are many resources available online to help you prepare for the test, and the government provides a list of possible questions and answers in advance. They will give you two opportunities to take the English and civics tests and to answer all questions relating to your naturalization application in English. If you fail any of the tests at your initial interview, you will be retested on the portion of the test that you failed (English or civics) between 60 and 90 days from the date of your initial interview.
Once you pass your citizenship requirements and test, it can take up to six months before you participate in the oath of allegiance ceremony. At this point, you will receive your certificate of citizenship and naturalization, which proves your U.S. citizenship.
There are many factors effecting an individual’s application for citizenship. For instance, if a background check reveals criminal convictions that make you removable from the United States, you may be placed in deportation proceedings. As a result, it is wise to consult with an attorney prior to your application. At the Oriole Law Group, we are experienced immigration attorneys that can assess your eligibility and can help simplify the process for you. Schedule a consultation today.