Obtaining citizenship in the United States will provide you with rights, privileges, and protections that other immigrants do not possess, including the right to vote, the right to have a United States passport, and protections from deportation. Citizenship also places certain responsibilities and duties on naturalized immigrants, like serving on a jury when called upon to do so and defending the Constitution against all enemies. For more information, you should not hesitate to speak with a Cicero citizenship lawyer.
Naturalization begins with the filing of a Form N-400, a $640 filing fee, as well as submitting fingerprints and your green card or other appropriate documentation. The application for naturalization can be submitted 90 days before the time limit for residing in the United States is met because it can be assumed that the interview won’t be scheduled until or after that 90 days.
To be eligible for citizenship in the United States, an immigrant must hold a green card for five years unless some exception to this rule is applicable. Exceptions include:
Before you apply to become a citizen, you should make sure that one or more of your biological or adoptive parents are not already U.S. citizens by birth or that they were not naturalized by your 18th birthday. In this case, you may already be a derivative U.S. citizen.
The first step towards naturalization is submitting your application and supporting documents showing that you have held a Green Card for five years or that you fall under one of the above exceptions. You must show that you have been physically present in the United States for two and a half of those five years and that you have not spent six or more months overseas at any given time. Additionally, you must have lived in the same United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) district for three months before applying to the USCIS there.
It is required that any individual seeking naturalization is 18 years or older and has demonstrated good moral character. Additionally, you must know how to read, speak, and write basic English for the interview and the test.
The oral citizenship test covers the history of the United States and its government. As of December 2020, 128 possible questions can be tested. Of those 128 questions, 20 will be on the citizenship test, and you must answer at least 12 questions correctly to pass.
Lastly, you will be required to attend a swearing-in where you will take an oath of allegiance affirming your loyalty to the United States and willingness to protect the Constitution.
The process for being a citizen has many requirements and can be an intimidating one. If you have issues with any step of the citizenship process, the Cicero immigration lawyers at Minsky McCormick & Hallagan, P.C. are here to guide you. Visit our website to schedule your immigration law consultation so that you can begin your naturalization process today.