Naturalization is a legal process which a foreign national or citizen becomes a bona fide citizen of the United States. In general, if you want to become naturalized, you must meet all eligibility requirements, pass an interview, and take various tests.
Below you’ll find the most basic requirements and steps to become a U.S. citizen through naturalization:
Naturalization Eligibility Requirements
According to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), applicants should be:
- A legal U.S. permanent resident
- 18 years old and above
- Physically present and living in the U.S. for five years minimum during application time
- Have good moral character
Do note that the requirement for residency has several exemptions for time spent outside the country. Many citizenship and immigration attorneys in Utah say that you should also refer to the USCIS Naturalization Eligibility Worksheet for specific requirements.
First, you need to complete the Application for Naturalization (Form N-400), gather the required paperwork, and get photos taken that meet the requirements of the USCIS. You can then send in your application, along with the necessary fees and paperwork. You have to get fingerprinted to avoid fraud and if needed, send in additional paperwork requested by the USCIS.
Interview and Testing
After sending in all the required paperwork, you have to wait to be given an interview appointment. On the day of your appointment, be prepared to answer specific questions pertaining to your background and application. Don’t be late, relax, and don’t forget to bring valid IDs. Next, you’ll move on to the English and civics exams and anxiously wait for a decision.
Congratulations! Now that you’ve passed all the tests and have received a positive verdict, you simply have to wait for your ceremony date, arrive on the ceremony on time and dressed appropriately, and finally take the “Oath of Allegiance.”
If you truly wish to become a U.S. citizen via naturalization, you must understand all the required steps and prepare for each one as thoroughly as you can. Getting help from an experienced immigration lawyer could also help increase your chances of getting a positive verdict.