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What does it take to become a naturalized U.S. citizen?

On Behalf of | Mar 13, 2024 | Naturalization

Becoming a naturalized U.S. citizen can be a significant life event. It grants you the same rights and privileges as someone born in the United States. However, the process can be complex. You must meet specific requirements to become a naturalized citizen.

First, you must be at least 18 years old and a lawful permanent resident for at least five years or three years if you are married to a U.S. citizen. You may also be eligible to apply for naturalization if you have served honorably in the U.S. armed forces for at least one year.

You must also have been physically present in the U.S. for at least 30 months or 18 months if you are married to a U.S. citizen. You must engage in a continuous stay for this period before applying for naturalization. Other requirements include having a good moral character, the ability to read, write and speak English (unless an exception applies to your situation) and passing a civics test to demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of U.S. history and government.

How the naturalization process works

To apply for naturalization, you’ll need to file Form N-400, Application for Naturalization, with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). You will also need to submit supporting documents and the required fees. After you submit your application, you will be scheduled for an interview with a USCIS officer. They will ask questions about your application and background. You’ll also need to take the tests noted above and fulfill all other requirements. If your application is approved, you will receive a notice to take the Oath of Allegiance.

It is worth noting that there may be exemptions and accommodations for specific individuals, and seeking legal guidance can help guide you through the process accordingly. It can also help increase the chances of a successful outcome in your bid to become a U.S. citizen, given the complexities in question.