The process of becoming a Unites States citizen through immigration is known as naturalization. In order to become a naturalized citizen, one must fulfill a set of requirements set forth by the Congress of the United States.
Are you qualified to become a United States citizen?
The first step in becoming a naturalized citizen is to become a green card holder. For more information about green cards, please visit: http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/menuitem.eb1d4c2a3e5b9ac89243c6a7543f6d1a/?vgnextoid=ae853ad15c673210VgnVCM100000082ca60aRCRD&vgnextchannel=ae853ad15c673210VgnVCM100000082ca60aRCRD
Once you are a green card holder, you must fulfill several basic requirements in order to become a naturalized United States citizen. The following are required of applicants by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services:
- One must be 18 years of age or older;
- One must have been a green card holder for at least five years;
- One must have been a resident of the United States for at least five years prior to application;
- One must have lived within the state, or a United States Citizen and Immigration Services district, for three months prior to filing the application to become a U. S. citizen;
- One must be physically present in the United States for at least 30 months of the past five years;
- One must reside continuously in the United States through the application process;
- One must be able to able to read, write, and speak English;
- One must have knowledge of U.S. history and government procedure (civics);
- One must be an individual of good moral character and be prepared to adopt the principles of the Constitution of the United States.
Note: There are special immigration and naturalization provisions set forth for the spouse of a citizen, the children of a citizen and for those serving in the Unites States armed forces. For more information about becoming a citizen if you are the spouse of a citizen, click here: http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/menuitem.eb1d4c2a3e5b9ac89243c6a7543f6d1a/?vgnextoid=a0ffa3ac86aa3210VgnVCM100000b92ca60aRCRD&vgnextchannel=a0ffa3ac86aa3210VgnVCM100000b92ca60aRCRD
Information regarding immigration and naturalization for biological or adopted children who are living in the Unites States can be found at: http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/menuitem.eb1d4c2a3e5b9ac89243c6a7543f6d1a/?vgnextoid=d4c3a3ac86aa3210VgnVCM100000b92ca60aRCRD&vgnextchannel=d4c3a3ac86aa3210VgnVCM100000b92ca60aRCRD
Information regarding immigration and naturalization for biological or adopted children who are not living in the Unites States can be found at: http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/menuitem.eb1d4c2a3e5b9ac89243c6a7543f6d1a/?vgnextoid=8554a3ac86aa3210VgnVCM100000b92ca60aRCRD&vgnextchannel=8554a3ac86aa3210VgnVCM100000b92ca60aRCRD
Information regarding immigration and naturalization for members of the United States armed forces and their families can be found at: http://www.uscis.gov/USCIS/New%20Structure/3rd%20Level%20%28Left%20Nav%20Children%29/Military%20-%203rd%20Level/M-599militarynatz.pdf
How can you apply for naturalization?
Once you are qualified to apply to become a naturalized citizen, you must submit the form N-400, known as the Application for Naturalization. This form can be found at: http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/menuitem.5af9bb95919f35e66f614176543f6d1a/?vgnextoid=480ccac09aa5d010VgnVCM10000048f3d6a1RCRD&vgnextchannel=40a9b2149e7df110VgnVCM1000004718190aRCRD
Should you have questions during the application process, you might want to reference the M-476, “A Guide to Naturalization.” This guide can be found at: http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/menuitem.eb1d4c2a3e5b9ac89243c6a7543f6d1a/?vgnextoid=598da2f39b1ab210VgnVCM100000082ca60aRCRD&vgnextchannel=598da2f39b1ab210VgnVCM100000082ca60aRCRD
Beyond the written application, what will be asked of you in order to become a naturalized citizen?
As mentioned above, in order to become a naturalized citizen, you will be required to demonstrate your knowledge of two topics:
- U.S. history and government procedures (civics);
- Your ability to read, write and speak English.
The portion of the test that evaluates your knowledge of civics consists of 100 possible questions. Of these, you will only be asked ten. It is required that you answer six of them correctly in order to pass the test
A U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Officer will evaluate your English language abilities during an in-person interview.
The following link provides more information on this portion of the application process as well as some links to help you study. http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/menuitem.749cabd81f5ffc8fba713d10526e0aa0/?vgnextoid=5efcebb7d4ff8210VgnVCM10000025e6a00aRCRD&vgnextchannel=5efcebb7d4ff8210VgnVCM10000025e6a00aRCRD