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Naturalization is the ultimate procedure through which a immigrant to the United States can obtain the U.S. citizenship. There are specific rules for becoming a U.S. citizen through naturalization and not all immigrants are eligible.
Becoming a U.S. citizen comes with many benefits, and it also means taking on new responsibilities.
Who Is It For
Naturalization is only for those who either have been green card holders (permanent residents) for 3–5 years or meet various military service requirements.
How to Qualify?
U.S. Citizenship Requirements for Naturalization:
- Be at least 18 years of age during the time of your application;
- Have been a legitimate permanent resident for the past three or five years
- Have continuous physical presence in the United States;
- Demonstrate good English language proficiency;
- Prove good moral character;
- Establish a knowledge and understanding of U.S. history and government;
- Prove a loyalty to the principles of the U.S. Constitution; and
- Be keen to take the Oath of Allegiance.
U.S. Citizen By Naturalization process:
Step 1. Determine if you are already a U.S. citizen
Your actions: If you are not a citizen by birth, or you did not obtain U.S. citizenship from your parent(s) automatically right after birth, jump to the next step.
Step 2. Determine if you are eligible to become a U.S. citizen
Your actions: carefully read the naturalization eligibility worksheet to support you decide if you are suitable to apply for naturalization.
Step 3. Prepare your Form N-400, Application for Naturalization
This form is available to file online. Start by creating your free online account.
Your actions: Follow the guidelines to complete Form N-400. Collect the necessary documents to determine your eligibility for the naturalization process. understand the document checklist to make sure you collect all the important documents.
Step 4. Submit your Form N-400 and clear your fees
This form is available to file online. You may also pay your fees online.
Step 5. Give your biometrics, if applicable
Your actions: If you must take biometrics, USCIS will send you an appointment notice that contains your biometrics appointment date, time, and location.
Step 6. finish the interview
If all the initial processes on your case are done, USCIS will schedule a face to face interview with you to complete the naturalization process.
Step 7. Get your decision from USCIS on your Form N-400
USCIS will send a mail of decision. If you filed your N-400 online, you can also see the electronic copy of notice in your USCIS account. You may see the following status in your online account:
Step 8. Receive a notice to take the Oath of Allegiance
What to expect: If USCIS granted your Form N-400 in step 7, now you may be able to join the naturalization ceremony
Step 9. Take the Oath of Allegiance to the United States
You cannot be a U.S. citizen until you go to take the Oath of Allegiance at a naturalization ceremony.
What to do:
- Complete the form on Form N-445, Notice of Naturalization Oath Ceremony.
- Report for your naturalization ceremony and check in with USCIS. A USCIS officer will review your responses to Form N-445.
- Turn in your Permanent Resident Card (Green Card).
- Take the Oath of Allegiance to become a U.S. citizen.
- Receive your Certificate of Naturalization, review it, and notify USCIS of any errors you see on your certificate before leaving the ceremony site.
Step 10. Understanding U.S. citizenship
Citizenship is the common thread that links all Americans. Check out this list of some of the most significant rights and responsibilities that all citizens should practice.
Documents required to become a U.S. Citizen Through Naturalization:
- A copy of your Green Card
- A copy of your marriage certificate (if you are married)
- Form N-426, Request for Certification of Military or Naval Service (if applying for naturalization based on military service)
- DD Form 214, NGB Form 22, or discharge orders (if applying for naturalization based on military service and separated from service)
- A copy of your official military orders (if applying for naturalization based on military service and currently serving)
- Evidence of your citizen spouse’s job abroad (if applying under 319(b))
- Two passport-style photographs (if you live outside the United States)
The government filing fees to apply for becoming U.S. citizen by naturalization is $725.
Follow the guide called “ A Guide to Naturalization” (Form M-476) carefully before filing this form. The Form N-400 guidelines often refer to information in the guide, and it provides important information about citizenship admissibility requirements and processing steps.
Source: U.S. Department of State