The US Citizenship Program: How to Apply for American Citizenship
Are you tired of all the bureaucratic red tape associated with your current citizenship? If so, it may be time to apply for US citizenship. The process can be long and complicated, but it’s worth it in the end if you really want to call America home. Keep reading to see how to start your application today!
Do you already have your green card? Congratulations! As you may know, you’re well on your way to becoming an American citizen, but don’t let the years of waiting wear you down—you still have plenty of things to do in order to complete the process. Before you know it, you’ll be voting in elections and celebrating holidays with all of your new friends from the United States of America!
The US Citizenship Program can be confusing if you’re unfamiliar with the application process, but it doesn’t have to be so difficult. There are four main steps to becoming an American citizen, and this guide will walk you through them. With proper preparation and help from a knowledgeable lawyer, you can become an American citizen in no time!
About US Citizenship Program
US Citizenship is a program that allows foreigners who meet certain requirements and have completed an application process to become United States citizens. The US Citizenship Program offers important rights and benefits, such as voting in elections, serving on a jury, becoming eligible for jobs at higher pay scales, and gaining eligibility for federal jobs.
You can apply directly by filing Form N-400 (Application for Naturalization) with USCIS or through certain types of relatives who are US citizens or permanent residents. To apply you must be at least 18 years old and have been continuously present in the US for five years preceding your filing date as a permanent resident. All applicants must also prove good moral character, sufficient understanding of English, and knowledge of U.S.
Is Naturalization Right For You?
Getting your Green Card doesn’t automatically mean you’re a U.S. citizen. But in most cases, you have to be a U.S. green card holder for five years before you can become a citizen. The first step is applying for naturalization, which allows you to gain permanent residency in America and serves as a prerequisite for becoming an American citizen later on down the road.
It might sound like an easy process but there are many things that factor into determining whether or not someone is eligible to apply, so we are going to provide some of those things and information about how it works. If you meet all of those requirements, then yes—naturalization could be right for you!
Get a Certificate of Citizenship or Certificate of Naturalization
Apply for a Certificate of Citizenship if:
- You were born abroad to U.S. citizen parents, and
- Your parents did not get a Consular Report of Birth Abroad for you before you turned 18.
- Foreign nationals receive a Certificate of Naturalization when they become American citizens. Get certified copies of a Certificate of Naturalization.
- Want to know more about Naturalization Read More
Going to the USCIS Naturalization Interview
Once you have completed your application, paid your fees, and gathered all of your supporting documentation it’s time to head down to your local USCIS field office. When you arrive at USCIS, an immigration officer will take a quick look at all of your documents and ask you a few simple questions. If everything is in order and you can satisfactorily answer all of their questions, they will mark an OK box on each page of each form that needs one. Then it’s off to scheduling a naturalization interview with a USCIS officer. This is not as scary as it sounds.
U.S. Civics Test Requirements
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, or USCIS, administers the Naturalization Test. The test can be taken in English or in Spanish and consists of 10 civics questions from a 100-question list; applicants must answer 6 out of 10 correctly to pass. The list of possible questions has changed periodically since 1906 when Theodore Roosevelt was president. In 2002, under President George W. Bush, civics questions were updated with an eye toward more contemporary events.
Understanding the Green Card Lottery
The diversity lottery, also known as a green card lottery, is an annual United States government program that makes 55,000 immigrant visas available to people from countries with low rates of immigration to America. The draw is done by a computerized random selection and is open to those who meet certain eligibility requirements. Applicants must meet certain education or work qualifications and be from countries with low rates of immigration in order to qualify. The process of getting a green card through a visa lottery can be challenging, but it's worth it in many ways.
Types of Green Cards:
- Family-Based Green Card.
- Employment-Based Green Card.
- Humanitarian Green Cards.
- Diversity Lottery Green Card.
- Longtime Resident Green Card.
- Other Green Cards.
What is a green card?
A green card is a document that allows permanent residency in the United States of America. The green card represents a pathway to citizenship and is often referred to as permanent resident status or lawful permanent resident. A person may apply for U.S. citizenship three years after receiving a green card, although there are other paths that can allow a green card holder to apply sooner (e.g., marriage). Having been a lawful permanent resident of at least five years entitles one to apply for the U.S. For more information about green cards Read More.
What it Takes To Obtain a Green Card Through Family Sponsorship
For those looking to obtain a green card, family sponsorship might be an option. While it can take some time, there are numerous benefits associated with being sponsored by a family member. Understanding who is eligible and how to apply is important. The process involves several steps and each must be completed in full before moving on to another step.
While it may seem daunting at first, knowing what you’re getting into will help things go smoothly and ensure that you don’t get discouraged during your journey. It’s important not to rush things or skip steps; doing so could cause issues later on down the road that is much more difficult to overcome than if you had done things properly from the beginning.
Some Questions About Citizenship
- U.S. Citizenship Application Form
- What are the 5 Requirements to Become a U.S. citizen
- U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
- U.S. Citizenship Application Fee
- U.S. Citizenship Requirements for Green Card Holder
- When Can I Apply for Citizenship
Tips on Renewing your Green Card While Applying for Naturalization
If you already have a green card, know that it does not count as proof of citizenship. If you plan on applying for naturalization and renewing your green card at a U.S. immigration office, remember that you cannot use your current green card as proof of your continuous residence in America and eligibility for citizenship (unless it’s an I-551 Permanent Resident Card or a replacement).
You will instead need an original document issued by USCIS showing that you have been continuously living in America for five years prior to applying for naturalization. While there are various exceptions, if you apply at an international airport without having met these requirements, you will likely be turned away and have to travel back again another day once all necessary documents are prepared.
Apply for, Renew, or Replace a Green Card
A Green Card (Permanent Resident Card):
- Gives you official immigration status in the United States
- Entitles you to certain rights and responsibilities
- Is required if you want to naturalize as a U.S. Citizen
Becoming a citizen by investment
Investing in EB-5 projects can help you expedite your path to citizenship. The minimum investment required for a green card through the EB-5 program is $1 million dollars; however, those who invest at least $500,000 into a targeted employment area (TEA) and create at least 10 jobs are considered eligible for permanent residency after only two years.
Learn more about how you can invest in your future with an EB-5 visa:
- whether you plan on applying as a person or as part of a group;
- if you are investing under high unemployment or rural area guidelines; and
- if you are investing in an area that has not previously received EB-5 capital.
However, when your investment has been made, you will need to apply for permanent residency (Green Card) status by filing Form I-829 with USCIS. Meanwhile, when you have been approved, you will be eligible to apply for citizenship through naturalization within two years of obtaining permanent residency status.
"Frequently asked questions about US Citizenship Programs"
What is the first step to applying for U.S. citizenship?
- Step 1: Application for Naturalization. The first step to becoming a U.S. citizen is to file an Application for Naturalization (Form N-400) and pay the filing fee (unless you are exempt — see above for details).
- Step 2: Biometrics Appointment.
- Step 3: Citizenship Interview and Exam.
- Step 4: Oath of Allegiance.
What are the 5 requirements to apply and become a U.S. citizen?
- Be able to read, write, and speak basic English;
- Demonstrate good moral character;
- Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of U.S. history and government;
- Demonstrate loyalty to the principles of the U.S. Constitution
- Be willing to take the Oath of Allegiance
Can I apply for U.S. citizenship by myself?
Do I need a lawyer to apply for U.S. citizenship? No. You can file USCIS forms yourself, including Form N-400, and Application for Naturalization, which can be submitted online. However, some people choose to seek assistance from a lawyer or Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR)-accredited representative.
How long does the U.S. citizenship process take?
To become a U.S. citizen, you must: Have had a Permanent Resident (Green) Card for at least five years, or for at least three years if you're filing as the spouse of a U.S. citizen.
What is the fastest way to get U.S. citizenship?
Paths to U.S. Citizenship:
- Naturalization. Owning a green card is something that can help you become a naturalized citizen of the States as it makes the entire process much easier.
- Marriage. Becoming a U.S. citizen is possible if you are married to a citizen of the U.S. as well.
- Through Parents.
- Need a Loan?
When should I apply for U.S. citizenship?
The basic rule is that you cannot submit your Form N-400 to apply for U.S. citizenship (or apply to naturalize) until you have lived in the United States as a lawful permanent resident for at least five years. That means exactly five years, to the day.
What are 4 ways to become a citizen?
In all, there are four fundamental ways to become a U.S. citizen: (1)-citizenship by birth in the U.S., (2)-citizenship through derivation, (3)-citizenship through acquisition, and (4)-citizenship through naturalization. Most immigrants in the United States become citizens through the naturalization process.
Does the US allow dual citizenship?
Does the United States allow dual citizenship? Yes, practically speaking. The U.S. government does not require naturalized U.S. citizens to relinquish citizenship in their country of origin.
The application and interview process can be daunting, but it's important to remember that what you're doing is incredibly important. Becoming a citizen of your adopted country is more than just signing a document or passing an exam; it's about becoming an active participant in your community and way of life. So make sure you're prepared for citizenship day by reading up on everything you need to know. Good luck!
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