It’s not necessarily an easy path to becoming a U.S. citizen but it is possible. When you decide to work toward becoming a U.S. citizen, one route is naturalization. Naturalization is when you’re granted U.S. citizenship as a lawful permanent resident after you meet the requirements in the Immigration and Nationality Act, which was established by Congress.

Only certain immigrants are eligible for naturalization.

Below we talk about some of the things you should know about this process and how it might work.

Lawful Permanent Residence For Five Years

If you’re a noncitizen and you weren’t born in the U.S., the most common path to citizenship through naturalization is if you’re a lawful permanent resident or LPR for a minimum of five years.

There are quite a few requirements to be eligible for naturalization through this path. You have to prove you’ve been an LPR for at least five years, and you have to show you’ve continuously resided in the U.S. for at least five years immediately before you file your Form N-400.

You must have been present physically in the country for at least 30 months of the five years right before you file. 

You also have to prove you have good moral character, that you’re attached to the principles of the Constitution, and that you can read, write and speak some basic English. You have to understand the basics of how the government works and civics and then take an Oath of Allegiance.

Marriage To A Citizen

What’s The Process Of Naturalization?
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Another potential path to naturalization is if you marry a citizen of the United States.

You must have been a permanent resident of the U.S., lawfully admitted, for at least three years, right before you file your Form N-400.

You’re required to have lived with your spouse for three years before you file your application, and you must have continuous residence in the country for a minimum of three years before filing.

For at least 18 months or three years before you file, you had to have been physically present in America, and you also have to be able to read, write and also speak some English and understand basic principles of America’s history and government.

Military Service

What’s The Process Of Naturalization?
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For people with a history of serving in the U.S. armed forces, there are opportunities to apply for naturalization under particular provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

You have to meet certain requirements, but if you are a current or former member of the Armed Forces, there are some naturalization requirements that won’t apply to you. If you served honorably and you did so during a period of hostilities, for example, you may not have to reside in the U.S. or be physically present for a period of time before naturalization.

You could be eligible if you served for a period or periods that total a year at any time in the Armed Forces.

You can’t have been separated under anything other than honorable conditions during that service.

Children Of A U.S. Citizen

If you have U.S. citizens as parents, you have a couple of general ways you can get citizenship. One is at birth. The other is after birth but before you’re 18 years old.

The Steps Of Naturalization

Broadly, if you meet any of the categories above or you’ve determined you’re eligible for citizenship, the steps of naturalization include:

·       You prepare your Form N-400, which is your Application for Naturalization. You can complete this form online and then submit it and pay the necessary fees. Once you submit your form, you get a notice of receipt. 

·       If you’re required to take biometrics, you’ll get a notice of an appointment where you’re expected to go at the scheduled time. 

·       USCIS schedules an interview so that you can complete your naturalization process. 

·       Via mail, you’ll receive a notice of the decision, but if you completed your form online, you could also find an electronic notice. There are three options here—granted, continued, or denied. If you got a continued notice, then you may need to provide additional information, or you might have failed the civics or English test. If you’re denied, that means there’s evidence in your record that USCIS has found that they believe you are ineligible to be naturalized. 

·       You’ll receive a notice to take your Oath of Allegiance, and until you do that, you aren’t a U.S. citizen.

At this point, you’ll complete a questionnaire at your oath ceremony, and you’ll turn in your green card. You receive a Certificate of Naturalization at this time.

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Published by Mike

Avid tech enthusiast, gadget lover, marketing critic and most importantly, love to reason and talk.