Naturalization is the process through which a foreign national chooses to become a citizen of the United States of America. Individuals over the age of 18 must undergo the naturalization process in order to obtain U.S. citizenship. There are a few prior requirements that must be met in order to qualify for the naturalization process. If you meet the following requirements, you may be eligible to begin the naturalization process and your journey toward citizenship:
You must be 18 years of age or older
You must have owned a green card for at least 5 years
You must have lived in the U.S. for the last 5 years or more – or 3 years if your spouse is a citizen and you meet all the necessary requirements
You must have been physically present for at least 30 months out of those 5 years
You must have lived in the state or USCIS district in which you are applying for citizenship for no less than 3 months before filing
You must be able to demonstrate English reading, writing, and speaking competence
You must be able to demonstrate a grasp of United States history and government
You must be known as a person who has strong moral character
You must be able to demonstrate attachment with the U.S. Constitution and the ideas contained in it
You should also be aware that there are certain exceptions to these requirements. For example, if you are 50 or older and have owned a green card for at least 20 years – or if you are 55 or older and have been a permanent resident for 15 years – you do not have to take the English language test, though you will need to take the civics test. Also, if your legal parents became U.S. citizens before you turned 18, you do not need to apply for naturalization as you automatically gain citizenship through them. Additionally, if you are a member of the U.S. military, the path to naturalization looks slightly different for you – it is a simpler and more expedited process. Call a Boston immigration lawyer to learn more about these and other special accommodations.
Searching for a lawyer for a naturalization case in Boston? If you decide to go through the naturalization process, you will first need to file a Form N-400, Application for Naturalization. This form and others are available on the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website. You may also need to include certain documents, fees, medical exam results, and photographs with this form. You will also need to set up a biometrics appointment in order to submit your fingerprint to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for a criminal background check.
Finally, the naturalization process requires an interview with an immigration officer at your nearest USCIS office. The officer will ask you some questions and administer English and civics tests. In most cases, you will learn whether or not your application will be approved on the day of your interview after you have taken the exams. If your application is continued, it is probably because:
You didn’t turn in the proper documents
Your USCIS officer requests additional documentation
You do not pass the English and/or civics test, in which case you will have one more chance to retake the test you failed, usually within two or three months of your first interview
Need a lawyer for naturalization in Boston? If you are ready to pursue citizenship through naturalization, it helps to have a seasoned and knowledgeable immigration lawyer on your side. My name is John Philip Foley, and for more than 20 years I’ve been helping men and women navigate the naturalization process. I can prepare you for the tests and interview and accompany you to the USCIS office for your appointment and I can ensure that you file all of the necessary paperwork and don’t miss any important steps in the process toward citizenship. The stakes are high, so let me help you. Call Foley Law Offices today to find out more about how I can assist you in earning your citizenship and beginning your own American dream.