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Apply for Citizenship in the United States

25th June 2012
By Paul Anderson in Immigration Law
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US citizenship is considered to be the most valuable status bestowed by the United States. That is because the US citizens enjoy a lot of benefits and privileges. They are also entitled to the rights and the freedom which are guaranteed by America. Foreign-born nationals may become US citizens through a process called Naturalization. A foreign national may apply for citizenship to become an American citizen and this is the important and the final step towards their journey to America.

People who are born in the United States are US citizens through their birth in America. An immigrant who is a lawful permanent resident in the United States may become a US citizen through Naturalization, on meeting all the requirements needed to become a US citizen. Green Card holders or lawful permanent residents are provided with certain rights and privileges. But the Green Card holders will be entitled to various other benefits and rights as that of a native US citizen by becoming a Naturalized US citizen.

Why should you Apply for Citizenship in America?

On becoming a US citizen, you will automatically be entitled to a lot of citizenship benefits. The right which is considered to be the most important is the right to vote in the US federal elections and the other important benefit is that you will not be deported from the United States.

Steps Involved in Applying for Citizenship

In order to Apply for Citizenship in the United States, you must be a person who is over 18 years of age. You must also possess a valid Green Card or a permanent resident card. You must have possessed the Green Card for 5 consecutive years and more. Most of all, you must possess good moral character, people involving in criminal activities will not be allowed to become US citizens.

While applying for American citizenship, make sure that you are aware of the American law and history, because you must pass an English and a Civics test, which is a part of the naturalization process. Your continuous and permanent residence in the United States is a mandatory requirement to become an American citizen.

Filing the Application for Naturalization

On meeting all the eligibility requirements, you may apply for citizenship by filing Form N-400 with the USCIS. Answer all the questions on the form accurately and honestly. If you fail to miss out anything on the form or if you provide false information, your US citizenship application may be denied. Hence make sure that you provide true information about yourself. Moreover, at the citizenship interview, you will be asked questions about your application, and if there is discrepancy between your answers in the interview and the details on your form, you will be denied US citizenship.

To avoid such circumstances, it is good to provide all the true details about yourself on your application form. After filling the application, send it along with the required photographs and correct filing fee to the right Lockbox facility of the USCIS.

Once the USCIS receives your application, your application will be checked for accuracy and the processing of your form will begin. After your form is approved, the USCIS will send you a letter regarding the biometrics appointment, where your fingerprints will be taken.

You will then receive an appointment letter asking you to be present for an interview with a Consular Officer. You must take up the English and the Civics tests. Once you clear all these processes, you will be notified about the Naturalization ceremony where you will take the oath of Allegiance to America, to become a US citizen. Hence, a foreign national who wishes to become a US citizen, must apply for citizenship through Naturalization.
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