How Can a Person Become a Naturalized U.S. Citizen?

Letter from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services of naturalization with USA flag

For many, the final step of the immigration process is becoming a naturalized citizen. Foreign nationals often dream of coming to the United States for better job opportunities, educational opportunities, and a better future for their children. However, becoming a naturalized U.S. citizen is not an effortless process. You can’t get citizenship through this process just by filling out the form; you must appear for numerous interviews and take tests. This process will take a substantial amount of time to complete. If you believe that you are ready to become a naturalized U.S. citizen, please read on and contact a determined Middlesex County, New Jersey, Citizenship & Naturalization Lawyer today to learn more about what the application process entails. 

How Can I Become a Naturalized U.S. Citizen?

Firstly, it’s crucial to understand that you can only become a U.S. citizen by birth or through naturalization. Naturalization is the process through which an immigrant voluntarily becomes a U.S. citizen. Generally, you can qualify for naturalization if you are at least 18 years old, have been a lawful permanent resident for at least five years (or three if you are married to a U.S. citizen), and meet all the eligibility requirements. It’s important to note that you may be eligible for naturalization based on military service, but you will be subject to different requirements.

How to Apply for U.S. Citizenship?

After meeting the eligibility requirements, you must complete Form N-400, Application for Naturalization. You must create a USCIS online account to file it online. You will receive case status alerts, pay your filing fee, view all case correspondence, check your case status, update personal information, and upload evidence. If you reside outside the U.S., you must submit two passport-style photographs with your application. You will receive a receipt notice once you submit your application, documents, and fees to USCIS.

From here, you may have to go to a biometrics appointment. This requires applicants to be fingerprinted and photographed for background checks. Once all the preliminary steps are completed, USCIS will schedule an interview with you. It’s important to note that you must bring the appointment notice with you. Rescheduling can add several months to the naturalization process if you miss your interview. As such, it’s vital to report to the USCIS office on the date and time of your appointment.

After the interview, the USCIS officer will determine if you need to provide additional documents or evidence. If you fail the English or civics test, they will schedule you to retake it 60 to 90 days after your first interview. If you fail a second time, USCIS can deny your Form N-400. You will be issued a decision by USCIS regarding your application. If the evidence on your second establishes your eligibility, you will be granted citizenship. However, if the evidence is insufficient, you could be denied. Following approval, USCIS will mail a notice with the date, time, and location of your scheduled oath ceremony. It’s important to understand that you are not a U.S. citizen until you take the Oath of Allegiance at a naturalization ceremony.

If you are ready to become a naturalized U.S. Citizen, please don’t hesitate to contact The Law Offices of Aditya Surti, LLC today. Our legal team is prepared to guide you through this complex legal process.

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