How to Become a US Citizen: The Ultimate Guide
Becoming a US citizen is a dream for many people around the world. The US is widely regarded as a land of opportunity, where immigrants can build a better life for themselves and their families. However, the path to citizenship can be long and challenging. In this guide, we’ll take you through the entire process, from determining eligibility to taking the oath of allegiance.
The first step in becoming a US citizen is determining whether you are eligible to apply. There are several ways to become a US citizen, including:
1. Through Birth: If you were born in the US, you are a US citizen automatically, regardless of the citizenship status of your parents.
2. Through Naturalization: Naturalization is the process by which a foreign national becomes a US citizen. To be eligible for naturalization, you must meet the following requirements:
a. You must be at least 18 years old.
b. You must have been a lawful permanent resident (LPR) for at least five years (or three years if you became an LPR through marriage to a US citizen).
c. You must have continuously resided in the US for at least five years (or three years if you became an LPR through marriage to a US citizen).
d. You must have been physically present in the US for at least half of the five-year (or three-year) period.
e. You must be a person of good moral character.
f. You must pass an English language and civics test.
3. Through Derivation: Children who are under 18 years old and have at least one parent who is a US citizen may derive US citizenship automatically.
4. Through Acquisition: Children who are under 18 years old and are adopted by a US citizen may acquire US citizenship automatically.
Applying for Naturalization
If you are eligible for naturalization, you can begin the application process by filing Form N-400, Application for Naturalization, with the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The current filing fee is $725, which includes a $640 application fee and an $85 biometric services fee. You may also be eligible for a fee waiver if you have a low income.
After your application has been filed, you will be scheduled for a biometrics appointment to have your fingerprints and photograph taken. You will also need to attend an interview with a USCIS officer, during which you will be asked questions about your background, residency, and English language skills.
If your application is approved, you will be scheduled for an oath ceremony, during which you will take the oath of allegiance to the US and receive your Certificate of Naturalization.
English Language and Civics Tests
To become a US citizen, you must be able to speak, read, and write basic English. You will be required to demonstrate your English language proficiency during your naturalization interview by answering questions in English and providing basic information about yourself.
You will also be required to take a civics test, which is a test on US history and government. The test consists of 100 questions, and you must answer at least six out of ten questions correctly to pass. However, USCIS has published study materials to help you prepare for the test.
If you become a US citizen, you may still retain your citizenship of another country if your country of origin allows dual citizenship. However, some countries do not allow dual citizenship, so it is important to check with your country of origin before applying for US citizenship.
Becoming a US citizen is a significant milestone in the lives of many immigrants. It provides the opportunity to fully participate in American society, enjoy the benefits of democracy, and engage in the civic life of the country. However, the path to citizenship can be long and challenging, and it requires careful preparation and planning. We hope that this guide has provided you with the information you need to begin your journey toward US citizenship. Good luck!
Process of becoming a US citizen
People who are interested in how to become a US citizen should accordingly refer to the information provided by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), and thereafter expect to come under the oversight rendered by the USCIS as an agency of the U.S. federal government. The means through which people can become a U.S. citizen is referred to as the process of naturalization.
In some cases, people can become a U.S. citizen automatically and without taking an action of their own accord, such as when they are not yet U.S. citizens by birthright but are the children of U.S. citizens and have passed the age of 18. On the other hand, adult non-citizens of the U.S. and children who are not the offspring of U.S. citizens will accordingly have to submit an application to the authority of the USCIS.
Required items of documentation
The documentation necessary for becoming a U.S. citizen can generally, if not exclusively, be understood as constituting Form N-400, as is provided and accepted by the USCIS, and is officially referred to as the Application for Naturalization. An exception to this utility for Form N-400 consists of Form M-599, as exists for U.S. military service members who are not yet citizens of the U.S. and are therefore liable to a potentially streamlined process for becoming a U.S. citizen based on the recognition of their services rendered to the nation.
Legal measures prior to becoming a U.S. citizen
People who are interested in becoming a U.S. citizen should be aware that, most commonly, people will attain the recognition as holding the status of permanent residency within the U.S. as a prerequisite to attaining citizenship. Various factors can further qualify an individual toward entering the process which can allow them to become a U.S. citizen. The holders of permanent residency rights will be officially certified as possessing this right in terms of having the official U.S. government document referred to as a Green Card.
Requirements to become a U.S. citizen
People who have held the aforementioned status of enjoying rights to permanent residency within the U.S. can enter into the process of going through naturalization and potentially becoming a U.S. citizen based on the prerequisite of having enjoyed this status for a 5 year period. This period of required possession of permanent residency rights prior to becoming a U.S. citizen can be lowered to a 3 year required waiting period in the event that the particular applicant has already been married to an individual who is already a fully recognized U.S. citizen. As mentioned previously, a person who has entered into the U.S.
armed forces and has not as yet become a U.S. citizen can accordingly become a U.S. citizen, not necessarily with any required waiting period.
Citizenship tests are administered toward people who wish to become a U.S. citizen in order to verify that they possess the required levels of knowledge in English, U.S. history, and civics.