The naturalization process in the United States is the path legal permanent residents take to become US citizens. Through naturalization, individuals acquire all the rights and responsibilities that citizenship entails.
Here is a step-by-step guide to the naturalization process in the United States.
Step 1: Eligibility.
The first step is to meet the necessary requirements to apply for naturalization. These include being over the age of 18, having been a legal permanent resident for at least five years (or three years if you are married to a US citizen), demonstrating good moral character, having a basic knowledge of English, and knowledge of the history and government of the United States.
Step 2: Submit the Application.
Once eligibility is confirmed, the applicant must complete and submit Form N-400, Application for Naturalization, to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). In addition to the form, evidence of meeting the requirements must be provided, such as copies of immigration documents, proof of continuous residence, and evidence of language knowledge and skills.
Step 3: Take Fingerprints and Interview.
USCIS will schedule an appointment for the applicant to be fingerprinted and to complete a naturalization interview. During the interview, the applicant’s language skills and knowledge will be assessed through an oral English test and a civics test.
Step 4: Citizenship Exam.
The citizenship test consists of questions on topics in United States history and government. The applicant must demonstrate a basic knowledge of the English language and correctly answer at least six out of ten citizenship questions.
Step 5: Oath of Allegiance.
If the applicant passes the citizenship test and meets all the requirements, she will receive a notice to attend a loyalty oath ceremony. During this ceremony, the applicant will take the Oath of Allegiance to the United States and receive the certificate of naturalization that officially makes them a US citizen.