- When can I apply for citizenship: requirements for candidates
- Applying for US Citizenship: common rules
- The final stage
- Useful tips — how to get a positive answer
What associations arise in the majority of the world’s inhabitants at the mention of the word America, and if to be more precise the United States?
Discarding political aspects, the following concepts come to mind: democracy, endless possibilities, a high standard of living, fair courts and the rule of law, respect for the law, a powerful economy, an ideal infrastructure and much more.
Of course, such a big country, with a population about 325.5 million people of completely different nationalities, cannot do without certain problems.
For example, social inequality, access to higher education, high taxes, racism, violence, the threat of terrorism and so on.
The Citizenship in the United States gives immigrants a lot of benefits such as:
- right of voting
- lack of deportation
- the right to get more decent jobs
- right to a prompt, fair trial by jury
- right to run for elected office
- freedom to pursue “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”
What does it take to become a citizen of the United States?
When can I apply for citizenship: requirements for candidates
How Long Does the U.S. Citizenship Process Take?
US immigration law is quite confusing, but in terms of registration of citizenship and does require the help of lawyers or professional advisers. Finding your own can be very difficult. In general, the acquisition of US citizenship is a lengthy process and requires a number of conditions such as:
- Age restrictions. According to the requirements of the USCIS, all candidates for US citizenship must be over 18 years of age.
- Period of stay in America. Applying for citizenship are eligible for those immigrants who have been living in the States for at least five years. The countdown starts from the date indicated on the green card. But there are some deviations from this rule – if the immigrant is married to a US citizen, then this period is reduced to three years; if the account of an immigrant has a service in the military units of the United States for at least a year, then this rule of five years does not work at all; You can not leave the US for more than six months, as the permanent resident status is interrupted, and the countdown begins anew.
- Mandatory presence in the US at the time of application. Do it from another country will not work.
- The high moral quality. To prove their morality, candidates should not have a criminal record and do not provide the Citizenship and Immigration Service with knowingly false information. Automobile fines and minor offenses are not dealt with in this matter.
- Knowledge of English. In order to prove the required level of proficiency in English, applicants for citizenship must pass the exam. Moreover, people with disabilities and people of age are less strict.
- Knowledge of the history and state structure of the United States. For this, it is necessary to pass a civil exam. Invalids and older people are again assessed on a less rigid scale.
- Acceptance of the Oath of Allegiance to the United States. This implies support for the Constitution, assistance to the US either through the public service or through military service, as well as the renunciation of foreign obligations.
Applying for US Citizenship: common rules
Examines applications and provides exhaustive official information about the conditions and requirements for applicants for obtaining American citizenship, as well as other aspects related to the move to this country, a specially authorized government agency – the US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS).
Based on this information, in an easily understandable form, we will outline the main procedural points that will allow us to answer the question of how to apply for US citizenship.
Required documents for obtaining citizenship in the US:
- It is necessary to download and fill out the form N-400 at www.USCIS.gov. Do this very carefully, so as not to get rejected and not then file an appeal.
- Next, you need to make two passport-size photos. At the time of application, the photos must not be older than 30 days. Photos should be colored, printed on thin paper. Photographed should be imprinted on a white background. It is forbidden to cover anything with a head, and the face should be seen completely. On the back of the photo cards, the name and number of the applicant must be written in pencil.
- A completed form, a copy of the US permanent resident card, photographs, as well as other necessary documents, must be sent to the USCIS Application Processing Center, having paid the pre-requisite fees.
- Also, it will be necessary to hand over their fingerprints, which will be sent to the FBI to find out about the existence of the criminal past. If there is none, the candidate receives a notification of the date and time of the interview.
The final stage
The whole approval process can be divided into 3 main step:
- Interviewing. In addition to general questions regarding the formation and nuances of applications, applicants for citizenship pass language and civil examinations.
- Waiting for an answer. In case of shortage of any documents, consideration of the submitted application can be postponed. If the application is rejected, there is always an opportunity to appeal this decision. If the answer is positive, then the applicant for citizenship will be invited to take part in the completion of the naturalization process.
- The ceremony of naturalization. At this event, all applicants respond to the question of their future actions after the application, bring the Oath of allegiance to the United States, hand over their permanent resident card, and in return receive a Certificate of Naturalization – a document confirming American citizenship.
Oath Ceremony Naturalization — Florida – USCIS New UScitizen
Useful tips — how to get a positive answer
- Never submit an application before the deadline. Wait a few days after the full-time limit established by law. The deadline for filing has a lot of nuances that must be taken into account.
- Check for all documents and order originals or official copies.
- If you were absent in the country for more than 180 days per year, collect documents showing the existence of ties with the United States.
- If you have arrears on compulsory payments, you must conclude a contract for the full payment of the debt and, at the very least, start repaying it or fully repay it before filing the application.
- For early consideration, when submitting an application, bypass the seasons of holidays and vacations. As a rule, most people try to get a passport at this time for the most comfortable travel.
- Carefully prepare for language and civil examinations. Devote all your spare time to improving skills and knowledge in these areas. If the applicant has proficiency in English at a high level, he can be exempted from passing the exam.
- Completely from examinations are released people of advanced age who live in America for longer than 15 – 20 years.
- In any case, do not skip the interview, because then the application can get the resolution “closed administratively”, which will prolong the process of obtaining citizenship for a very long time.
We wish you a good Naturalization process! If you want to ask something or share your story — don’t hesitate and contact us!