The decision to become a U.S. Citizen is a big one and one with important implications to consider. It is not something to enter into lightly, to be sure. Depending on your specific circumstances, you can become a U.S. Citizen in different ways. One way is through what is called “acquisition.” Acquisition refers to citizenship that is acquired through having U.S. Citizenship parents either at birth or after birth before you reach the age of 18. Acquisition is also a mechanism by which certain children born outside of the U.S. automatically acquire citizenship due to being born to parents who are U.S. citizens.
There is also another way to become a U.S. citizen. This is through the naturalization process. Here, we will go into more detail about what naturalization is and the naturalization process generally.
What Is Naturalization?
Established by the Immigration and Nationality Act, naturalization refers to the process by which a lawful permanent resident is granted U.S. citizenship after meeting certain requirements. In order to be eligible for naturalization, you generally need to be a minimum of 18 years of age. Furthermore, you must have been a U.S. resident for at least 5 years. If you are married to a U.S. Citizen, you only need to be a U.S. resident for 3 years. There will also be other eligibility requirements that must be met.
To apply for naturalization, you must prepare and submit Form N-400. The form must be submitted along with the necessary documentation and payment of fees to USCIS. You must also submit passport-style approved photographs as well. After submitting your N-400 application, you will get a receipt notice. From that point, you will be able to get updated information about processing times as well as your application status from the USCIS website.
If applicable, you will need to attend your scheduled biometrics appointment. Per USCIS requirements, your biometrics appointment will involve being fingerprinted as well as photographed. This is so an FBI criminal background check can be completed. The biometrics appointment must be attended and the background checks completed before the naturalization interview will be scheduled by USCIS.
For your interview, you need to go to the USCIS office at the date and time listed on your appointment notice. Should you need to reschedule your interview, write to the appropriate USCIS office as soon as possible to request that your appointment be rescheduled. Please note that requesting a rescheduled interview time and date can result in several months of delay in the naturalization process. Try your best to attend your scheduled appointment time to avoid this.
After your interview, you will receive a decision on your Form N-400 naturalization application from USCIS. If you fail the written English or Civics Exams you will be given a new date to try to do the test(s) again. USCIS will either grant or deny your application. Should you be denied naturalization due to ineligibility, you will receive instructions on how to appeal the denial through completing Form N-336, Request for a Hearing on Decision in Naturalization Proceedings. Form N-336 must be submitted along with the requisite fee within 30 days of your Form N-400 decision date.
Immigration Law Attorneys
If you should have any questions or need more information about the ways in which the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Laws may impact you, your family, your friends or your colleagues, please contact the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Lawyers at the NPZ Law Group – VISASERVE – U.S. Immigration and Nationality Lawyers by e-mailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling us at 201-670-0006 (x104). You can also visit our Law Firm’s website at www.visaserve.com.