Naturalization process for obtaining citizenship
The naturalization process as administered within the United States and directed by the U.S. government agency, as consists of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), should be understood as the means through which people who were previously not citizens of the U.S. can obtain citizenship within the country.
As such, people will have to submit documentation to the USCIS and moreover open themselves up to the judgment rendered by the USCIS in order to allow for naturalization to take place and accordingly realize the benefits and privileges embedded in this process.
Permanent residency as a state prior to naturalization
Naturalization often does not take place until after a person has attained recognition as enjoying the rights of permanent residency within the political jurisdiction of the U.S., and as such people who are considering naturalization as their ultimate goal will generally have to provide for permanent residency initially.
As such, people who are not U.S. citizens but do enjoy the right to permanently reside and maintain employment in the country will generally be holders of the items of documentation referred to as Green Cards.
People may be able to obtain a Green Card before they enter the U.S. and accordingly enter the U.S. will full residency and employment rights, or an application to adjust status following a visa being granted for a temporary stay within the U.S. may also be legally effective.
Naturalization process prerequisites
The naturalization process can only take place based on a non-U.S. citizen and possible permanent resident already satisfying certain qualities that the U.S. government has held up as being necessary and accordingly empowered the USCIS to administer for the purposes of the U.S. naturalization process. Requirements in place for the process of allowing naturalization to take place include:
Permanent residency which has lasted for up to a 5 year period can allow, as soon as this period ends, for a person to legally and legitimately apply for naturalization to take place and render them citizens of the U.S.
If a person has been a permanent resident of the U.S. for up to 3 years before the initiation of the naturalization process, then he or she can do so legitimately based on being the spouse of a person who already enjoys recognition as a U.S. citizen.
U.S. military service rendered by non-U.S. citizens will typically be effective toward allowing the naturalization process to begin to take place.
Required items of documentation
Most commonly, and in most of the cases mentioned above, naturalization can be enacted through the functions of the USCIS through the submission of the specific type of documentation represented by Form N-400, which is officially referred to as the Application for Naturalization.
An exception to this provision for N-400 allowing naturalization to take place consists of M-599, an item of documentation which allows for non-U.S. citizen/ U.S. military service members to successfully enter into the process of naturalization and attain the status of citizenship and all of its associated rights and privileges.