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Everything You Need To Know About Naturalization

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If you are a permanent resident of the United States and meet certain eligibility requirements, you may be able to become a naturalized citizen. Naturalization is the process by which you gain US citizenship when you're a foreign national. Learn more about the naturalization process and its eligibility requirements in this guide.

What Is Naturalization?

Citizenship through naturalization is how immigrants can become full-fledged US citizens. The process usually involves a series of steps, including passing a citizenship test. You can start the naturalization process by applying with US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Once the application is approved, you will be scheduled for an interview. At the interview, you will need to demonstrate your knowledge of English and civics. You will also need to answer questions about your background. The immigration officer will review your criminal history, employment history, and other public records. If the immigration officer approves the application, you can take an oath of allegiance and receive your US citizenship certificate.

What Are the Eligibility Requirements for Naturalization?

Becoming a naturalized US citizen is a lengthy process that requires you to meet certain qualifications. To be eligible for naturalization, you must meet the following conditions:

  • You should be at least 18 years old
  • You should be a permanent US resident
  • You should have resided in the country for at least five years before your application
  • You should demonstrate good moral conduct

There are a few exceptions to these general requirements. For example, applicants married to US citizens only need to have lived in the US for three years before applying for naturalization. Additionally, applicants serving in the US military may also be eligible for naturalization without meeting the residency requirement.

Pro tip: If you are a permanent resident, you should start the naturalization process as soon as possible. Though the residency requirement is a limited time frame, applying early enough will give you plenty of time to prepare for the citizenship test and interview.

What Are the Benefits of Citizenship Through Naturalization?

There are many benefits to citizenship through naturalization. As a naturalized citizen, you will be able to vote, run for office, and serve on a jury. You will also have access to certain social services and public benefits. Additionally, naturalized citizens have the opportunity to sponsor family members for green cards.

Becoming a naturalized citizen is a way to formalize your commitment to the United States. The process of naturalization can be long and complex, but it is ultimately worth it if you wish to become a US citizen.

For more information, contact an immigration lawyer.