Who is Eligible for Naturalization?
Naturalization is the process in which a foreigner is granted admittance to become a U.S. citizen. There is a long process that one must go through and a list of criteria that the foreigner must meet prior to applying for citizenship. Once that is done, the applicant must complete an application, take part in an interview, and pass an English and civics test. After, the applicant must take an oath of allegiance and can officially become a citizen. As you can tell, there are many legal requirements that one must meet in order to become naturalized. This is because the immigration services only allows those who are genuine in their desire to become a U.S. citizen to be naturalized.
Below you will find more information about the basics of naturalization, such as eligibility requirements and the steps that must be followed in the application process.
If you plan to apply for naturalization in the United States, there are certain eligibility requirements that you must meet. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) requires applicants to meet the following criteria:
- The applicant must be at least 18 years old.
- The applicant must be a legal permanent resident of the U.S.for at least five years prior to applying for naturalization.
- The applicant must be physically present in the U.S. for at least five years at the time of application.
- The applicant must be able to speak and understand English.
- The applicant must have a good moral character.
The residency requirement does have some exceptions for those who have spent time outside of the country. If this applies to you, then you should consult with a Los Angeles citizenship lawyer so he or she can explain in detail. In addition, the USCIS provides a Naturalization Eligibility Worksheet that can help potential applicants determine whether they are eligible to apply for naturalization. When it comes to naturalization, it is imperative that you have an experienced naturalization lawyer Los Angeles on your side, as this is a very complex process.
With that being said, if you do meet each one of these requirements, then you may apply for naturalization.
How to Complete Your Application
When it comes to completing your naturalization application, it is crucial that you complete the application accurately and thoroughly. This part of the process includes the following:
- Complete Form N-400, which is the Application for Naturalization.
Obtain two photographs of yourself that meet immigration service requirements, which include a specific pose, size, lighting, etc.
- Collect the required documents.
- Send in your application, required documents, and filing fees to the appropriate immigration service center.
- Keep in mind that once you have filed your application, it is necessary to continuously remain in the U.S. from the date of applying to the time of naturalization.
Next, there is the process of getting fingerprinted, which is another necessary step of the naturalization application. In this part of the process, you can expect the following:
- You will receive an appointment letter from the USCIS.
- You will go to the location where you will get your fingerprints taken.
- You must mail any additional documents if they are requested.
The Interview Process and Getting Tested
This step is extremely important to becoming naturalized and requires a sufficient amount of studying and practicing. You should expect the following:
- You will receive an appointment for your interview.
- You must go to your local office at the specific time of your interview.
- Bring a form of identification.
- Answer the questions about your application and background.
- You will take the English and civics test.
Once you have completed the interview process and tests, you will receive a final decision on your application for naturalization.
The Oath of Allegiance
If you have passed the interview process and tests, then you will take the final step, which is the oath of allegiance. In this part of the process, you can expect the following:
- You will receive a ceremony date.
- Check in at the ceremony.
- Return your Permanent Resident Card.
- Answer questions about what you have been doing since your interview and tests.
- Take the oath of allegiance.
Speak to a Immigration Lawyer Los Angeles
In order for one to successfully go through the naturalization process, it takes a lot of preparation throughout the entire process. In order for you to receive the guidance you need to successfully get through these steps, you should contact a Los Angeles citizenship lawyer.
At Alami Law, we are experienced and knowledgeable attorneys who will guide you through each and every step of the way. Feel free to contact us any time to get the help you need to become successfully naturalized.