Do you dream of becoming a citizen of the United States? Here’s a rundown of the steps you’ll need to take, from determining your eligibility to applying, interviewing, and finally taking the oath.
Step One: Find Out Whether You Are Eligible for U.S. Citizenship
The authorities ask whether you have a green card in the United States (lawful permanent residence). You must get a green card before seeking citizenship, with a few exceptions. If you haven’t already done so, check to see if you qualify. As a lawful permanent resident, you must meet additional requirements to be eligible for U.S. citizenship. These include your time in the United States as a green card holder, your high moral character, your ability to pass English and U.S. history and government tests, and more.
Now is an excellent time to start working on your English, research relevant questions that can be asked, or consult a professional expert. The USCIS examiner has a total of 100 questions from which to choose, and you must successfully answer six out of the twelve to pass.
Step Two: Overcome Barriers to Your Ineligibility
Right now, it’s probable that you won’t be able to become a citizen. You may be unable to exhibit outstanding moral character because you committed a minor offense (though not a major enough one to make you deportable). Alternatively, you may have disturbed the continuity of your residence by spending too much time outside the U.S.
It’s possible that simply waiting longer will qualify you for citizenship or that you’ll need to take other actions. In the worst-case scenario, you may have been granted lawful permanent residency. At the same time, you were not eligible, in which case petitioning for citizenship may result in USCIS finding this and deporting you. Consult animmigration attorney for citizenship and its complete analysis.
Step Three: File USCIS Form N-400
After you’ve determined your eligibility, you’ll need to submit some papers to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) (USCIS). The N-400 is the first step in the procedure. The cost of applying for naturalization is $640 plus an $85 biometrics (fingerprinting) charge as of late 2020; however, the USCIS has suggested a fee increase. A copy of your green card and paperwork demonstrating that you are entitled to an exception or the equivalent must be attached to your application. You will be mailed a date for your biometrics session shortly after your application has been accepted.
Step Four: Attend Biometrics Appointment
A background check will be required to process your application. You’ll be given a date and an address to go to a local office to get fingerprinted. For a background check, your fingerprints will be processed through the FBI and similar databases.
Step Five: Attend a Citizenship Interview at a USCIS Office
A few weeks after your biometrics appointment, you should receive an appointment date and address for an interview with a UCSIC officer. During this interview, the officer will go through your N-400 with you and confirm your answers to all of the questions, as well as your basic eligibility. The officer will also go over your immigration file to see if there have been any previous issues. The officer will then put your knowledge of English and civics to the test.
Step Six: Attend the Oath Ceremony
If you are approved at (or shortly after) your USCIS interview, but you have not yet become a citizen, congratulations. To begin, you must maintain your eligibility. You may lose your eligibility if you are arrested for a serious crime before the oath ceremony.
You will be summoned to a vast public ceremony where the oath of allegiance to the United States will be administered to you and others. After that, you’ll be given a certificate of naturalization, indicating that you’re a U.S. citizen.
Do You Need a Lawyer’s Help?
Unless you have some unpleasant stuff in your background, you don’t need to pay a lawyer to apply for citizenship in the United States. However, you can contact us if you are looking for the best immigration lawyer online consultation.