A citizenship application processed within the administrative context of the United States will be received by and decided upon by the relevant acting governmental authority, as currently consists of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), as replaced the formerly empowered Immigration and Naturalization Services.
The term “naturalization” is still formally and officially used to refer to the goal held for citizenship applications, despite the change in name on the part of the acting arbiter of such matters. As such, a citizenship application which can thus be applicably used, and is accessible at the relevant page of the US Citizenship and Immigration Services website, is Application for Naturalization Form N-400.
People who file such citizenship applications, having already been recognized as legal permanent residents of the U.S., can thus obtain a heightened level of legal recognition under the laws of the country.
Before incurring the time and effort as will be required to fill out the citizenship application form and see it to a successful conclusion with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, the particular applicant is recommended, according to an advisory issued by the USCIS on this issue, to check and make sure that she or he does correspond to the eligibility requirements maintained for prospective U.S. citizens. To that end, filing privileges attached to the Form N-400 citizenship application are reserved for people who have passed their 18th birthday.
Moreover, successful citizenship applications will be those carried out by those who have already gone through the earlier and separately applicable process of being recognized as legal permanent residents. Additionally, a citizenship application will only be accepted and filled out by an individual who has been actually resident, as opposed to just being authorized for such a privilege, in the U.S., specifically for the 30-month period preceding the actual arrival of the citizenship application. Only an 18-month period preceding citizenship application may be required for the non-citizen spouses of citizens of the country.
Additionally, permanent residency for the continuous period of 5 years in the United States will be required on the part of non-citizens not married to U.S. citizens, while those who are will have the less onerous requirement for a 3-year period. On the other hand, rather than citizenship applications, people who have a right to gain citizenship by dint of parentage will thus be required instead to submit Form N-600, the Application for Certificate of Citizenship.
The actual Citizenship Application documentation form consists of ten pages to be filled out, while the Instructions for Citizenship Applications consist of seven pages. Moreover, people who submit a citizenship application will be required to pay a filing fee of $675.
To that end, citizenship application have the basic requirement of $595, while the use of biometrics, facially-based recognition software, adds another $80 in fees on top of the cost. As such, this requirement for citizenship applications is removed for individuals who are above the age of 75, and fees are not required for military applications under Sections 328 and 329.