Naturalization is the legal process through which a foreign citizen or national can become a U.S. citizen. In order to be naturalized, an applicant must first be qualified to apply for citizenship. Then, he or she must complete an application, attend an interview, and pass an English and a civics test. Upon successful completion of these steps, the applicant takes an oath of loyalty, and becomes a citizen. These legal requirements help the immigration service ensure that only those people who are sincere in their desire to become Americans become naturalized.
Who is Eligible?
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) states that applicants for naturalization must be:
The residency requirement has some exceptions for time outside the country that your attorney can explain in detail. The USCIS also provides a Naturalization Eligibility Worksheet that helps potential applicants determine if they are able to apply. Your most important resource is an experienced immigration attorney, who can prepare your application and coach you through the test and interview preparation.
If you meet these requirements, you may apply for naturalization. The government provides a range of publications to explain the naturalization process in detail. A Guide to Naturalization, available through the USCIS, may be a useful starting point for your inquiries.
Completing Your Application
Working with your attorney, you must:
As part of your application, you will be fingerprinted. You will:
This security step ensures that no fraud is perpetrated on the USCIS.
Being Interviewed and Tested
The next step is the big one: the interview and tests. You will:
Taking the Oath of Allegiance
If you are successful, you can take the final step: the oath of allegiance. You will:
Get Legal Help with Your Naturalization Case
Successfully naturalizing in the United States requires a thorough understanding of the steps involved, and careful preparation at each stage. If you're considering becoming a U.S. citizen through naturalization, you should contact an experienced immigration attorney who can guide you through each step of the process and help you file all the necessary paperwork.
Contact a qualified immigration attorney to help you with the citizenship process.