Looking to become a permanent U.S. citizen?

In U.S. immigration law, Naturalization refers to the process through which eligible green card holders acquire U.S. citizenship.

A few things to know about Naturalization

Eligibility

  • To be eligible for naturalization in the United States, individuals generally must meet certain requirements, including being a permanent resident (green card holder), having resided in the U.S. for a specified period, demonstrating good moral character, and meeting all the other criteria.

 

Permanent Residency (Green Card)

  • Before applying for naturalization, an individual typically needs to have held a green card (lawful permanent residency) for a certain period, usually five years or three years if married to a U.S. citizen.

 

Residency Requirements

  • The continuous residence and physical presence requirements vary based on the individual’s specific circumstances. Generally, applicants must have been physically present in the U.S. for a certain number of years and maintain continuous residence. Whether the individual is working abroad for an authorized employer or has a re-entry permit also affects the residency requirement.

 

Good Moral Character

  • Applicants for naturalization are required to demonstrate good moral character. Criminal convictions, failure to pay taxes, or other factors may affect an individual’s eligibility.

 

English Language and Civics Test

  • Applicants must demonstrate proficiency in the English language, including reading, writing, and speaking. Additionally, they are required to pass a civics test covering U.S. government and history. Senior age and disability can waive some of these requirements.

 

Naturalization Application (Form N-400)

  • The naturalization process begins with the submission of Form N-400, Application for Naturalization, to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The application includes biographic information, details about the applicant’s background, and supporting documentation.

 

English Language and Civics Test

  • Applicants must demonstrate proficiency in the English language, including reading, writing, and speaking. Additionally, they are required to pass a civics test covering U.S. government and history. Senior age and disability can waive some of these requirements.

 

Biometrics and Interview

  • After submitting the application, applicants undergo a biometrics appointment where fingerprints and photographs are taken. Subsequently, they attend an interview before a USCIS officer, during which the officer reviews the application, conducts a naturalization test, and assesses the applicant’s eligibility.

 

Oath of Allegiance

  • If the application is approved, the final step is taking the Oath of Allegiance at a naturalization ceremony. By taking the oath, the individual becomes a U.S. citizen, is issued a Naturalization certificate, and can apply for a U.S. passport.

What are the steps of Naturalization?

  1.  Submit Form N-400
    Complete and submit Form N-400, Application for Naturalization to USCIS.
  2. Attend Biometrics Appointment
    Attend a biometrics appointment for fingerprinting and photographs.
  3. Interview with USCIS
    Attend an interview where your N-400 application is reviewed, and you are tested on English language proficiency and U.S. civics.
  4. Pass English and Civics Test
    Demonstrate proficiency in English and pass a civics test on U.S. government and history.
  5. Receive Decision and Oath Notice
    USCIS decides on your application. If approved, you receive a notice to attend a naturalization ceremony to take the Oath of Allegiance.
  6. Oath of Allegiance and Obtain Certificate
    Attend the naturalization ceremony, take the Oath of Allegiance, and receive a Certificate of Naturalization, officially becoming a U.S. citizen.
  7. Update Social Security Records and Obtain Passport
    Update your Social Security records with your new status and consider applying for a U.S. passport.

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