Over the last 6 years, the U.S. has approved around 740,000 naturalization applications every year. Becoming a naturalized U.S. citizen is no easy path, but you can get there if you are determined with your process. Once you obtain a green card you can start counting the days toward applying for your citizenship. This guide will show you the right path to obtaining citizenship in the shortest possible timeline. Read on for the things you should know when applying and some requirements during the process.
Ways to obtain citizenship
alt-text: serving in the U.S. military is one of the ways to obtain citizenship
As you may know, there are a few ways to obtain citizenship. Some people seek citizenship through a green card marriage process, others are born into it. If you are married to a citizen, are serving in the U.S. military, or have been a lawful resident for five years or more, you have other avenues available to seek naturalization.
You can choose one of these ways to seek citizenship with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website. When you see a situation that looks like yours, click on it to learn every item and attribute you need to have to become eligible for naturalization.
You must complete a form called the N-400, which is just the application for naturalization. The USCIS clearly outlines the 10 Steps to Naturalization on their website.
Need help on your path to citizenship? Brudner Law will help you get there. Get in touch with us today to learn more about our immigration services.
Naturalized citizenship rights
As mentioned before, there are only a few differences that you will notice after becoming naturalized, but they can make a great deal of difference. Here are the rights of naturalized citizens:
● The United States cannot deport you to your former country (or to anywhere else).
● Have access to a U.S. passport that is extremely powerful in traveling.
● You gain federal benefits like college assistance.
● Your children will automatically become citizens with social security numbers and U.S. birth certificates.
● You will likely never need to talk with the USCIS again, and you won’t have to complete any other paperwork with immigration.
● Not only can you vote, you can run for public office (but only natural born Americans can hold the presidency).
The privileges and rights of naturalized U.S. citizens are some of the most liberating and powerful in the world. There is a reason so many seek to become bona fide citizens of the U.S.
The Process of becoming a citizen by naturalization
Assuming you already have a green card, here are the steps you need to take to become a naturalized citizen:
● Complete the N-400 application for naturalization
● Schedule and complete a biometrics appointment at a USCIS office
● Complete your immigration interview that entails questions about yourself and may consist of an English language test as well as a civics test.
● Receive your approval for the N-400 application
● Take the oath of allegiance (this also requires that you take up arms on behalf of the U.S. when law requires, perform non-combat service in the armed forces in the most extreme circumstances, or perform work of national importance as a civilian.
In all, this process could be as fast as six months but account for delays in the process.
To be eligible to become a naturalized citizen, you must meet the following requirements:
● Be 18 or older when filing the N-400.
● Have lived in the U.S. lawfully for five years or longer.
● Have a residence in the U.S. where you live permanently.
● Have an understanding of English while being able to adequately speak, read, and write.
● Have good moral character (The U.S. usually views this as not having a gambling addiction, substance abuse problem, etc.) You may need to prove this with something like a referral from a past employer explaining that you are a reputable person.
● Pass a civics test on the procedures of the U.S. government.
● You must demonstrate loyalty to the U.S. and take the oath of allegiance.
How to apply
You will need to file the N-400 application that includes the following information:
● Personal questions and information about yourself and your family.
● Any history of crime and arrests in the U.S. and abroad.
● Your work history going back five years.
● Your living situation and residence for the last five years.
● All the places you have traveled in the past five years.
You will also need to pay the application fee of $725. The fee is used to pay the labor involved in processing your application, including an $85 fee for biometric fee. You may be able to have the USCIS waive this fee if you fall within the pre-set income standards.
Looking for the strongest immigration attorneys in Los Angeles? Brudner Law will help you with your case — tell us about your situation today.
Naturalized citizens become certified and permanent members of one of the greatest countries in the world. The United States holds incredible opportunities for immigrants, but the process can be harrowing. That is why Brudner Law helps people like you every day to become naturalized citizens. Get in touch with us today and tell us your story.