Becoming a U.S. Citizen
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Becoming a U.S. Citizen
Becoming a U.S. citizen gives an individual numerous rights and privileges in accordance with the United States Constitution and applicable federal and state laws. American citizenship also imposes a number of obligations on a person, such as serving on a jury when ordered to do so and paying taxes. Citizenship can be acquired via birth or through naturalization.
What Is Naturalization?
Naturalization is the process an individual who is a non-citizen voluntarily becomes a U.S. citizen. The process is lengthy and requires him to meet eligibility requirements.
How Can I Become a Naturalized Citizen?
The first step to becoming a citizen through naturalization is for the individual to become a permanent resident. This means that they must have a green card for at least five years prior to applying for citizenship. The other eligibility requirements for a person vary depending on their individual situation, such as if they are a minor when they apply for citizenship or if they are serving in the United States military. However, eligibility requirements generally include:
- Be at least 18 years old at the time the Application for Naturalization Form N-400 is filed
- Live in the state that they have claimed as their residence for at least three months
- Show that they have resided continuously in the U.S. for at least five years immediately preceding filing the application
- Prove that they have physically resided in the U.S. for at least 30 months of the five years prior to filing Form N-400
- Have good moral character
- Have the ability to speak, read, and write basic English
- Understand U.S. history
- Show an attachment and appreciation to the ideals and principles of the U.S. Constitution
How Many Steps Are in the Naturalization Process?
Generally, you must go through 10 steps if you want to complete the naturalization process:
- Determine that you are not a U.S. citizen
- Deter eligible to become a U.S. citizen
- Complete Form N-400
- Submit Form N-400 to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
- Complete the biometrics appointment, during which you will be fingerprinted
- Be interviewed by a USCIS representative
- Wait for the decision from USCIS regarding the Form-400
- Receive the Oath of Allegiance notice
- Take the Oath of Allegiance
- Know the responsibilities and rights associated with being a U.S. citizen
Should I Contact an Attorney about Becoming a U.S. Citizen?
Yes. The process to become a naturalized citizen is complicated. To understand more about the process and receive help with it, contact an immigration attorney.
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Last Modified: 08-11-2015 02:10 PM PDT
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