Does it seem like there are a million obstacles and hoops to jump through in order to become a naturalized US citizen? Not sure where to begin? You’re in the right place.
Let’s go over the requirements for beginning your citizenship application, plus what to expect along the way. Becoming a US citizen often seems confusing and difficult, but being prepared will make the whole process go a lot smoother.
Basic Requirements for US Citizenship
Right off the bat, let’s cover the basics you should be aware of before beginning your application. To become a US citizen, here are the general requirements:
- Have a green card
- Be at least 18 year old
- Have lived as a permanent resident in the US for at least five years, unless you’re a refugee, spouse of a US citizen, or obtained your green card via political asylum
- Have spent at least half your time as a permanent resident of the US physically present in the United States
- Have NOT spent over a year at any given time outside the US
- Have NOT established a primary residence in a country besides the US
- Have lived in the district or state where you are filing your citizenship application for three months or more
- Have good moral character
- Be able to speak, read and write English
- Be able to pass a test on US government and history
- Swear that you will be loyal to the US and believe in the principles set forth by the US Constitution
Citizenship Application and Immigration History
Once you’re sure that you meet all of the basic requirements, you can begin your application.
Besides your completed application, you’ll also need to submit a copy of your green card, photographs, and your application fee. Applying can seem like it takes forever, with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) often taking months to schedule an appointment for fingerprinting and your interview.
At your interview, you’ll be questioned about your full immigration history. Each and every trip you’ve taken outside the US will be examined, so make sure you’re prepared to answer any question that could pop up, and bring evidence to prove why you left the US.
Do not lie under any circumstances—if you’re suspected of committing fraud, not only will your citizenship request be denied, but also you will lose your green card and be deported.
Treat your immigration interview as a test where you will be examined for English proficiency, US history and US government.
With that said, the interview is NOT a trap designed to make you fail—as long as you study carefully, you should be able to pass with no issues. And don’t worry, great immigration attorneys will help you be 100% prepared for your interview!
After passing your interview, you’ll receive your appointment date for your swearing-in ceremony. This is where you’ll formally (and finally) become a US citizen by taking your oath and receiving a certificate of naturalization.
Immigration is a Process
Although the process can seem needlessly complex, at least now you can see the sequence of events that must take place before you’re allowed to become a US citizen. If you’d rather take the stress and headache out of applying, an immigration lawyer might be the right answer.
Great immigration lawyers will take care of everything, making sure your application is submitted quickly and accurately, so your request for citizenship will be processed as fast as humanly possible.
Give us a call and find out how we can help your immigration application today.