How to Become a U.S. Citizen

You could be qualified to apply for citizenship if you are currently a lawful permanent resident (green card holder) of the United States. Green card holders who want to become citizens must fill out Form N-400, Application for Naturalisation, and submit it to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”). They also need to complete other conditions. Below are the steps for obtaining US citizenship.

Essentials to become a U.S. Citizen through Naturalization

1) Lawful permanent resident of the U.S.

You must have a valid green card, even those with “conditional” green cards, in order to be a legal permanent resident of the United States. Conditional residents are individuals who earned their green card through a marriage that has not been in existence for more than two (2) years or those who are in the preliminary two-year term of permanent resident status after receiving their green card through the Immigrant Investor Visa Programme (EB-5).

2) You must be 18 years old

You could already be a citizen if you are under the age of 18 and your parents have a green card. To find out if you are already a citizen of the United States, you need to speak with an immigration lawyer.

3) You must have resided for three months in the state where you will apply for U.S. citizenship

4) Continuous residency and physical presence in the U.S.

Five years must have passed since the day you received your green card before you may still be in the country. However, you only need to have been a holder of a green card and a resident of the United States for three years if you obtained your green card as a result of your marriage to a citizen of the United States and you are currently living together as a married couple.

Furthermore, you cannot leave the country for longer than half of the required residency duration (two and a half years or a total of 912 days for a five-year period, or one and a half years or a total of 547 days for a three-year period).

You can use the worksheet included with the U.S. citizenship application to tally up the number of days you were away from the country. If you’ve travelled abroad a lot, an immigration lawyer can also assist you in analysing your journeys and choosing the right moment to submit your citizenship application.

5) You must be a person of good moral character

You must have shown excellent moral character for the five years immediately before your citizenship application (or three years for a spouse of a U.S. citizen living with the spouse in a marital union).

According to the immigration regulations (I.N.A. 101(f)), “good moral character” is widely defined. There are both strict criteria (no convictions for certain crimes) and discretionary considerations (failure to maintain dependent children, failure to pay taxes, adultery that threatens to terminate a marriage, etc.).

Do you need to visit an immigration lawyer if you have a criminal history? prior to making a citizenship application. Based on your criminal past, a lawyer can advise you on whether and when to apply as well as if you would be subject to removal (deportation) procedures.

You should consult a lawyer before filing since even expunged felony offences must still be revealed to U.S.C.I.S. U.S.C.I.S. will examine your previous green card application to compare your responses and make sure that everything you have said is accurate. If information is inconsistent, you can face fraud charges.

6) You must demonstrate knowledge of the English language, U.S. history, and the U.S. government

To become an American citizen, you must have a basic command of the language. A very basic English question, such as “Where does the President live?” will be the topic of the exam, which will be administered during an interview at U.S.C.I.S. Additionally, 10 questions on American history and government will be asked of you; in order to pass, you must properly answer six of the ten questions.

Exemptions from the English and Civics test

The test’s English language component is optional for certain candidates. You are exempt from taking the English exam if you are over 50 and have resided continuously in the United States for 20 years, or if you are over 55 and have done so for 15 years. You may take the civics test in your mother tongue if you are above 65 and have been a resident of the US for 20 years.

Additionally, you can qualify for a medical disability waiver if you have a learning disability or a physical or mental impairment that makes it impossible for you to finish the test. An immigration lawyer should be consulted to see if

7) You must be willing to take the oath of allegiance to the United States

You must be prepared to pledge allegiance to the US in front of a representative of the US government or a judge of a US district court. This will contain a declaration that you will renounce your loyalty to all other countries and that, if necessary, you will carry arms or serve the US without engaging in battle.

Although the United States does not recognise dual citizenship, your foreign passport won’t be seized by American authorities. Even if you have two passports, you still need to be willing to stick by America.

How long does it take to become a U.S. citizen?

Where you live will affect how long it takes to become a citizen of the United States. Applications for citizenship in the United States are initially evaluated in a national processing centre, but are then sent to the U.S.C.I.S. Local Field Office nearest your residence for a final evaluation and interview.

The processing times for each local office are listed on the USCIS website. For instance, a local field office in Philadelphia, PA, is now reviewing applications that were submitted on May 13, 2014; as a result, the processing period for people close to Philadelphia is around seven months.

There may be a further wait of a few days, weeks, or months after the interview before you take the oath of allegiance to the United States. This is also based on where you are. For instance, the Newark, New Jersey Field Office swears in candidates the day after they successfully complete their interview.

Other methods to become a citizen of the United States

You may automatically acquire U.S. citizenship if you have parents who are citizens or who have green cards. You may also be excluded from some of the aforementioned criteria if you work as a missionary, nun, brother, sister, or a member of the U.S. armed forces.