Naturalization


Naturalization is the process by which U.S. citizenship is conferred upon a foreign citizen or national after he or she fulfills the requirements established by Congress in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).

Process of Naturalization:

After submitting your application, you will be notified to take your fingerprints. After taking your fingerprints, you will have an interview with an immigration officer. Once you pass the interview, you will receive your citizenship at the oath ceremony. It takes approximately 8-12 month to get your citizenship. The scope of the interview is limited to questions about residence, physical presence in the U.S., moral character, understanding of and attachment to the principles of the U.S. Constitution, the ability to read, write and speak English, and other legal qualifications to become a citizen. The applicant may bring his or her attorney.

General Requirements for Becoming a U.S. Citizen through Naturalization:
There are some requirements for becoming a US Citizen through the process of Naturalization. These requirements are as follows: Age

Applicants must be at least 18 years old. Refer to the section, Naturalized Citizen's Children under Waivers, Exceptions, and Special Cases for information on applicants who are less than 18 years old.

Residency

An applicant must have been lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence. Lawfully admitted for permanent residence means having been legally accorded the privilege of residing permanently in the United States as an immigrant in accordance with the immigration laws. Individuals who have been lawfully admitted as permanent residents will be asked to produce an I-551, Alien Registration Receipt Card, as proof of their status.

Residence and Physical Presence

An applicant is eligible to file if, immediately preceding the filing of the application, he or she has been lawfully admitted for permanent residence; has resided continuously as a lawful permanent resident in the U.S. for at least 5 years prior to filing with no single absence from the United States of more than one year; has been physically present in the United States for at least 30 months out of the previous five years (absences of more than six months but less than one year shall disrupt the applicant's continuity of residence unless the applicant can establish that he or she did not abandon his or her residence during such period) has resided within a state or district for at least three months.

Good Moral Character

An applicant must show that he or she has been a person of good moral character for the statutory period prior to filing for naturalization. The Service is not limited to the statutory period in determining whether an applicant has established good moral character. An applicant is permanently barred from naturalization if he or she has ever been convicted of murder. An applicant is also permanently barred from naturalization if he or she has been convicted of an aggravated felony.

Attachment to the Constitution
An applicant must show that he or she is attached to the principles of the Constitution of the United States.

Language

Applicants for naturalization must be able to read, write, speak, and understand words in ordinary usage in the English language. Applicants exempt from this requirement are those who on the date of filing:

have been residing in the United States subsequent to a lawful admission for permanent residence for periods totaling 15 years or more and are over 55 years of age;

have been residing in the United States subsequent to a lawful admission for permanent residence for periods totaling 20 years or more and are over 50 years of age; or

have a medically determinable physical or mental impairment, where the impairment affects the applicant's ability to learn English

United States Government and History Knowledge

An applicant for naturalization must demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of the fundamentals of the history and of the principles and form of government of the United States. Applicants who have been residing in the U.S. subsequent to a lawful admission for permanent residence for at least 20 years and are over the age of 65 will be afforded special consideration in satisfying this requirement.