Being naturalized is a process that immigrants who want to become legal United States citizens go through in order to obtain citizenship. Becoming naturalized can be a time consuming process, with many documents and requirements serving necessary. One of the biggest requirements is the naturalization interview that accompanies the citizenship test. The process of being naturalized is one that is open to all immigrants with legal permanent resident status who have lived in the United States for at least 5 years. If the immigrant applicant is married to an American citizen, this number drops to three years.
The actual process of being naturalized begins with the submission of Form N-400 (Application for Naturalization) for immigrants over the age of 18. Immigrants under the age of 18, by American standards considered minors, often receive what is known as derivative citizenship through their parents. They are also usually exempt from the five-year residence requirement. Form N-600 (Application for Certificate of Citizenship) must be filled out for immigrants whose parents are United States Citizens and have already naturalized. If American parents are adopting a child from another nation, this is the process that is required for them to be legally naturalized.
All naturalization forms are processed through United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The USCIS is a division of the Department of Homeland Security. At this point, in order to be naturalized, an thorough background check of the individual must be conducted. The information from this background check is then sent to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services to be verified. A successfully processed, clean background check is necessary to be legally naturalized.
Once the background check returns with favorable results and the once the form has been processed, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services notifies the applicants of their scheduled naturalization interview. It is at this naturalization interview that the immigrant applicants will be questioned and tested. The tests that are given at this naturalization interview are used to verify the applicant’s ability to read, write, and speak English. The applicant is also tested on United States history, government, and politics. Knowledge of all of these things is required to be naturalized.
The process of naturalization requires a certain attention to detail and diligence on behalf of the applicant. The naturalization interview has become quite effective at weeding out fraudulent applications so it is extremely dangerous to attempt to lie or forge naturalization documents.