Getting citizenship can be tough. There are only two real ways that a person can become a citizen in the USA. The first is to be born in the U.S. or to acquire citizenship by being born to an American citizen. The second is to go through the naturalization process.
For most immigrants, naturalization is their only real option for citizenship. To get to a point where you can seek naturalization, however, you will have to obtain the right to work and live in the U.S. through a green card. You can usually get a green card through employment or through your familial relationships.
What happens once you’re ready to apply for naturalization?
Once you’re ready to seek naturalization, you will need to fill out an application and go through an interview with an immigration officer. Most people then have to take an examination that demonstrates their ability to speak and understand English, their knowledge of U.S. history and their understanding of U.S. civics. (In some cases, people are exempted from taking the exam or may take the examination in their own language, although this is less common.)
Until you can apply for naturalization, it’s important to keep your record clean. You have to prove that you have good moral character, so you don’t want to have charges or convictions on your record if it can be helped.
Essentially, the road to naturalization is different for everyone. Some may find it relatively easy, while others find it fraught with difficulty at every turn. However, it’s always a long process, and the immigration laws are always in flux. Our website has more information on naturalization and what to expect as you start looking into becoming an American citizen. It is helpful to research the process and what you need before you begin.