The US Citizenship Program can be confusing if you’re unfamiliar with the application process, but it doesn’t have to be so difficult. There are four main steps to becoming an American citizen, and this guide will walk you through them. With proper preparation and help from a knowledgeable lawyer, you can become an American citizen in no time!
If you want to become a citizen of the United States, it’s essential to understand what’s involved. The process can be complicated, but it doesn’t have to be. While many steps are involved in becoming an American citizen, we’ll walk you through them so that everything will go smoothly when your time comes for naturalization!
About US Citizenship Program:
U.S Citizenship is the highest form of identification. It allows you to vote, run for office, and travel to most countries without a visa. U.S Citizenship is not a right given to you; it can be applied for after completing rigorous requirements. The process of applying for US citizenship takes about two years. Still, if your application is approved, you will receive an official “green card” that immediately entitles you to all these benefits upon approval!
Is Naturalization Right For You?
If you are wondering if naturalization is right for you, the answer is yes. The benefits of becoming a citizen include voting in elections and participating in civic life.
There are several steps involved in becoming a citizen:
Who is eligible to apply for U.S. citizenship through naturalization?
Eligibility for naturalization generally depends on several factors:
- How long you’ve had your green card
- How long you’ve physically lived in the United States
- Whether you’ve served in the U.S. military (and if so, whether your service was during “peacetime” or “wartime.”
What are the requirements for U.S. citizenship?
To become a U.S. citizen, all naturalization applicants must meet the following requirements (unless they qualify for an exemption or application based on their U.S. military service).
- Be of the minimum required age (typically, at least 18).
- Continuously and physically live in the United States as a green card holder for a certain number of years.
- Establish residency in the state or U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) district where they intend to apply.
- Have “good moral character.”
- Be proficient in basic spoken and written English and demonstrate knowledge of U.S. history and government.
- Register for military service (if a male of a certain age) and be willing to perform civil service when required.
- Swear allegiance to the United States.
The Green Card Lottery is a random selection process:
You can win the lottery if selected—but there’s no guarantee that your name will be drawn. You need to be 18 years or older, have been a legal permanent resident for at least five years, and be eligible for citizenship under one of four categories:
Buffeted by hurricanes:
The U.S.-born children of parents who gained status through marriage or employment can apply for permanent residence under “diversity lottery” rules. These applicants must also meet all other requirements for naturalization except being 30 years old or younger when using; however, they can only apply after their 30th birthday unless they are married with children under the age of 21.
Children born outside the United States (but whose parent is a U.S citizen) may apply if at least one parent has permanent residency status in America.
Foreign military spouses living overseas may enter the country on temporary visas and then seek permanent residency after five years as part of this unique program—but they cannot file until they’ve been outside US borders since September 11th, 2001 (though it’s possible someone else could put together evidence supporting this time frame).
Fill out your Form N-400:
Once you have decided to apply for citizenship, you must file Form N-400. The form is long and should be filled out carefully. It includes questions about your past and future immigration history, family members already residing in the United States, financial information, and other relevant information that may help USCIS determine whether or not you are eligible to become an American citizen.
Filling out this form can take anywhere from six weeks to two months, depending on how busy your local immigration office is at any given time. However, if there are any delays with processing times, they might refuse your application if they feel there isn’t enough evidence provided by all parties involved (i.e., spouse/partner). However, here are the necessary documents.
- Gather your supporting documents
- Copy of birth certificate
- Copy of marriage certificate
- Copies of the divorce decree and death certificate of spouse if applicable (if married to a U.S. citizen)
- Copy of passport:
If not included in the above list, you will need to provide copies and your application package. If you have lost or destroyed this document, contact USCIS at 1-800-375-5283 for more information about how to apply without it. * Evidence that you have resided in the U.S.: If possible, include documentation such as pay stubs from current employment; tax returns showing filing status (single/married); utility bills from previous residences; medical records showing treatment received at American hospitals or clinics abroad; school records showing attendance at American schools abroad; etc.*
Deliver the N-400, supporting documents, and fee to the appropriate location
To start the process, you’ll need to bring the following:
The N-400 form:
Supporting documents showing that you are eligible to apply for citizenship. These include a birth certificate or passport; marriage license issued by a U.S. state or territory; naturalization certificate from any country; evidence of an honorable discharge from military service if you served in the Armed Forces after September 7, 1965; proof of your continuous residence in this country since January 1st, 1982 (if younger than 18 at the time application was filed).
The fee for applying for naturalization is $595 if paid at a USCIS office in person or online through their website (https://www.uscis.gov/uscis-visa-application). If paying by check, make payable to “U S Department Of Homeland Security” and mail it along with all required documentation listed above directly to USCIS headquarters at P O Box 9999 Sunnyside, Washington DC 20013
Take the Naturalization Test:
To be eligible for citizenship, you must take the Naturalization Test. The test is given in English, Spanish, or Chinese, depending on your country of origin and if you’re applying as a permanent resident or as an immediate relative of a U.S. citizen (spouse or parent). It’s based on the civics and history of the United States, so you must study before taking these tests!
The Naturalization Test consists of 10 multiple-choice questions about applicable law that applicants must answer correctly to pass. Each question has at least two possible answers but can also have up to three possible solutions depending on how many dashes are used in writing out certain words such as “of” or “and.” For example:
The word “of” can be written in a sentence as two dashes and space or just one dash. It’s important to know this when taking the test because the answer could be “one dash” or “two dashes and a space.” If unsure how to answer a question, go with your gut instinct before moving on to the next one.
Attend an interview:
Your interview is an opportunity to ask questions and clarify information on the N-400 form. You may also want to request help with your case or some extra time to practice English.
Have a swearing-in ceremony:
You will be given a certificate of naturalization.
A judge or magistrate will swear you in.
Your citizenship certificate is mailed to you within three weeks after completing the required paperwork and paying any fees that may apply to your application, including those associated with taking an oath before a public official (if applicable).
How Long Does It Take To Become a U.S. Citizen?
The national average processing time for naturalization (citizenship) applications is 14.5 months. But that’s just the application processing wait time. The overall naturalization process involves more steps and a longer citizenship timeline. Not sure if you qualify for citizenship? Go back to the eligibility criteria above.
How do you become a citizen of the USA?
By birth or through naturalization.
What is the fastest way to get U.S. citizenship?
Hold a green card for three years; Be married to and living with your US citizen spouse for three years; Live within the state you’re applying to for three months; and. Meet all other requirements for US citizenship.
What are the four different ways to obtain U.S. citizenship?
The four routes available include; citizenship by Naturalization, Citizenship by Marriage, citizenship through your parents, and citizenship through the military. The U.S citizenship application process is complex, with each route having its own set of specific requirements.
How long does it take to get U.S. citizenship?
On average, it takes 18 to 24 months to complete the naturalization process and become a U.S. citizen. The naturalization process has five general steps: filing Form N-400 and taking the Oath of Allegiance.
How hard is it to become a U.S. citizen?
The U.S. immigration system can be complicated to navigate, and the application process to become a citizen alone can take a year or longer. Generally speaking, people applying for citizenship must successfully pass six stages or steps.
How long does a green card last?
If eligible, file Form I-485 – Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status with USCIS, including all supporting documents and fees. USCIS will review your application and schedule an interview with you. Once issued, your Green Card will be valid for ten years.
Can I get U.S. citizenship if I buy a house?
One of the most common questions we get from our foreign clients is whether buying an American property will give them the legal right to live in the United States. Unfortunately, our first answer is always no. Just purchasing U.S. real estate does not automatically set you on the path toward citizenship.
Who is eligible for a green card?
A family member of a lawful permanent resident, meaning you are the: Spouse of a legal permanent resident. Unmarried child under the age of 21 of a lawful permanent resident. Unmarried son or daughter of a lawful resident 21 years old or older.
How many times can I renew my green card?
You can renew your green card as many times as you need. There is no limit to how long you can have permanent resident status. You can keep renewing your green card for the rest of your life until you move out of the United States or until you apply for United States Citizenship.
Can I lose my permanent resident status if I divorce?
If you already have a green card and are a permanent resident at the time of the divorce, the divorce should not change your status. However, the divorce may force you to wait longer to apply for naturalization.
Read also how to migrate to USA here.
Online application for America Citizenship, the article detailed the basics of becoming a citizen of America. You have completed the naturalization process and are now a US citizen. Then you have to wait for the result to come out.