US Naturalization Process: What You Need to Know

A few days ago, President Trump increased the number of tests in the naturalization civics test from 100 to 128. This civics test is taken by US citizenship applicants, and it serves to assess their knowledge of the government and the history of the United States. Instead of six correct answers, applicants will need to give 12 correct answers to pass the test.

As an immigrant currently looking to acquire US citizenship through the naturalization process, this may come off as a new challenge. The process of becoming a US citizen usually is challenging and more complicated than most people think. However, we can make it easier for you by helping you understand everything you need to know about the US naturalization process.

First Things First

As long you have a US visa, you can apply for a green card, which grants you residency in the United States before you can apply for naturalization. You have to be prepared because this is the longest process of obtaining US citizenship. Once you have it for five years, or three years for people married to a US citizen, you’ll become eligible for naturalization.

You have to send in your application and wait for an average of 9 to 10 months before receiving your exam date. This process may cost you thousands of dollars in government fees and a lot more if you choose to hire lawyers and take preparation courses.

What Is the US Naturalization Test About?

Most people who apply for US citizenship think that all they have to do is learn about the Civic questions and answers. While you still have to do this, it’s just one part of four components. The US citizenship test comprises of a speaking and comprehension test, a reading test, a writing test, and a Civics test.

The first three tests will assess your ability to speak, read, and write in English. The Civics test will assess your knowledge of issues such as the American government and history, geography, symbols, holidays, and responsibilities of American citizens.

You will have two chances of going through the test. If you fail both, your citizenship will be denied, so one of the most vital naturalization tips we can share with you is to prepare for it thoroughly. If you do pass the exam, you will be sworn in as a United States Citizen during a naturalization ceremony.

What’s Involved in the Naturalization Process?

To become a naturalized citizen, there are several steps you need to take and certain requirements you need to meet first. We’ll take you through the step by step process and help you understand everything you need to go through.

Check for Eligibility

The first step of the naturalization process is to determine your eligibility for US citizenship. This entails the green card of at least five years or three years if you’re married to a US citizen, having served in the US military, or being a child of a US citizen. Beyond this, some of the other requirements are a good moral character, residency, and an attachment to the constitution and the nation.

Complete the N-400 Form

Once you ascertain that you’re eligible for citizenship, the next naturalization process step involves filling out an N-400 form. This is the naturalization form, and it generally requires information on your current and past residences, your current and past employment, your parents, education, marital history, children, and other personal questions.

You must complete this form entirely without leaving any questions unanswered, as this will delay your naturalization process. During your citizenship interview, you will be asked questions based on this application form, so it’s important for you to be honest and clear about everything you write.

Obtain Photos and Photocopy Documents

Your US citizenship application must have at least two identical photos of yourself in passport size. They can be in full color or black and white on a light background, and head coverings are only allowed for religious reasons. Keep in mind that the photos should be taken about 30 days before filing for the N-400 form.

You should also include a photocopy of your green card on both front and back sides, as well as other required documents. You must take your green card with you during the naturalization interview, which is why you should send a copy of your application form.

In case you lost the green card and applied for a replacement, you should take a photocopy of the receipt with you instead. If any of your documents or in any foreign language, it’s important for you to have a translated version attached with the other documents.

Send the Application and Get Fingerprinted

Once you have everything in order, send the application together with the application fee to the appropriate service center. Send the fee through a check or a money order. The USCIS will contact you once they receive your application and inform you where to have your fingerprints taken.

They will use your fingerprints for a criminal background check. You must bring your green card and any form of identification with you during the fingerprinting process. Feel free to check your immigration case status on a regular basis to see your progress. 

Attend Your Naturalization Interview

Once all that is over, they will call you for your US naturalization interview, which is the final process. The USCIS will notify you of the time and location of the interview through a letter. You should take your green card with you, together with your passport, your state-issued identification card, and all other re-entry permits that you have.

They will ask you questions about your application, your background, and your character. They will also want to know how willing you are to take an oath of Allegiance before they grant you citizenship.

Take Your English and Civics Test

This is where you take the English and Civics test that we discussed earlier. Once you’re done, you have to wait for a decision, which will either be granting you citizenship, continuing for a second interview, or denying your application. If by any means you feel that your application was denied unfairly, you have every right to request a hearing with the USCIS.

Take the Oath

If your US citizenship was granted, you must take the Oath of Allegiance of the United States. After that, you will receive your certificate of naturalization.

It’s important for you to return your green card when you go for the oath ceremony. When this is over, you will be a US citizen with the same right as those born in the US.

Making the Naturalization Process Easy

The naturalization process is quite complicated, but there are courses out there that will help you learn and understand the process better. It may be even more challenging if you or a loved one is detained at the immigration detention center.

Getting out is not easy, but we’ll be more than glad to help you with immigration bail bonds. Our dedication is to help immigrants leave detention centers in all states, after which they can prepare for their cases at home. Please get in touch with us today for assistance.

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