If you are interested in coming to the United States or have been living in the United States and would like to move forward with seeking citizenship, there is a specific pathway for you to take to do so. Once you verify your current status and know the next steps to follow, you can prepare your application for the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.
There are a few steps that you can follow to become a U.S. citizen if you qualify to do so. Here is what to expect as you start this journey.
- Determine your eligibility
The first thing to do is to determine if you’re eligible. To become naturalized, you need to be at least 18 and have resided within the country for at least five years. If you’re married, three years is long enough. Form N-400 has more information about additional eligibility requirements.
- Prepare and submit form N-400
If you believe that you’re eligible, you can submit form N-400. You will also be expected to send a passport-style photo and service fees in with this application.
- Go through with a biometric appointment
If your case requires it, you may need to have your biometrics taken.
- Complete an interview with the USCIS
The USCIS will have an interview with you to talk to you about your application. Sometimes, they make a decision right away. Other times, there will be a delay. You’ll take an English and civics test at this appointment (if required).
- Receive a decision
After this is all done, you’ll get a decision from the USCIS. If the form is approved, you’ll be asked to take the Oath of Allegiance and receive your Certificate of Naturalization.
If you fail any part of this process, there are steps you can take to appeal or apply a second time in some cases. It’s important for you to understand that this process can be long, but with the right support and evidence, you can move forward and seek your citizenship. Once it is granted, you’ll have all the rights of a U.S. citizen.