Citizenship and Naturalization
People that were born outside of the United States and wish to become U.S. citizens, must go through a process called Naturalization. The naturalization process is fairly extensive and includes a number of eligibility requirements and some tests. Furthermore, when someone applies for citizenship, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will thoroughly investigate their background and history.
If you apply for naturalization and USCIS finds out that you have committed a crime, falsified documents to obtain a Green Card, or lived outside the United States without permission, you may be deported. Immigration Attorney Kavitha Ramasami is familiar with the process of Naturalization and will help you become a citizen.
Requirements for Citizenship
Generally speaking, the requirements to become a naturalized citizen are the following:
- You must be at least 18 years old when you file the Form N-400, Application for Naturalization also known as Citizenship Application
- You must have been a permanent resident for at least 5 years
- You must demonstrate continuous residency in the United States for at least the 5 years preceding the date you filed Form N-400
- You must show that you have been physically present in the United States for at least 5 years preceding the date you filed Form N-400
- You must be able to read, write, and speak basic English
- You must have a basic understanding of United States history and government
- You must be a person of good moral character
- You must demonstrate an attachment to the principles and ideals of the U.S. Constitution
After confirming that they meet the above eligibility requirements, a potential applicant for naturalization must then take the following steps:
- Confirm that they’re not already a U.S. citizen
- Prepare and submit Form N-400, the Application for Naturalization
- If applicable, attend the biometric (fingerprinting) appointment
- Complete the interview and take the necessary English and civics tests if they weren’t granted a waiver
- Take the Oath of Allegiance to the United States once a positive decision from the USCIS has been received
- Make sure to understand your rights and responsibilities as a U.S. citizen
If you have concerns about your eligibility for citizenship or want guidance with completing this process, please contact us for more information or to schedule an appointment with Edison Immigration Attorney Kavitha Ramasami.