Here’s everything you need to know when applying for citizenship.
How to Apply for US. Citizenship
Whether you are planning to apply for citizenship or have been eligible but have not yet applied, you may want to consider consulting us for all of the next steps.
Why It Is Necessary
Since becoming a U.S. citizen, you have earned the right to vote, to live in this country, to receive all of the benefits of citizenship without having to wait in line (with a valid immigrant visa) and, to obtain your citizenship certificate and take the naturalization test. All of the above includes the path to citizenship—so regardless of what you do, you want to make sure you fully complete this process.
Assess Your Interest
To become a U.S. citizen, you will need to undergo several activities that you must complete to be eligible for U.S. citizenship. Please note, if you feel you do not desire citizenship, please find the other steps you must take.
A minimum of five years of valid legal residence in the United States;
Minimum educational attainment;
A minimum age of 18;
It will take several weeks to complete all the activities needed to become a U.S. citizen;
Your appointment will take place in a United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) facility;
Your citizenship application will not be processed until you take the naturalization test;
When you take the test, you will need to correctly and proficiently answer questions that prove who you are as a U.S. citizen;
You will need your Social Security number;
A copy of a form A-8, evidence of identity and proof of U.S. citizenship;
And a photo I.D. to take the test.
After You Apply for U.S. Citizenship
Once you apply, you will have a Citizenship Advisory Panel (CAP) to help you complete your application and tell you whether or not to file an application for U.S. citizenship. It is recommended that you have this information before you begin the application.
Why You May Be Waiting For Eligibility
When applying for U.S. citizenship, be sure you thoroughly complete the following steps.
Go to the Citizenship Advisory Panel and get an update on your eligibility for citizenship. Meet with an Immigration & Citizenship (Immigration and Citizenship Services) staff member and find out when the ultimate decision on your eligibility for citizenship will be announced. Visit our website to find out when this announcement will be issued. This decision will be final and will allow you to expedite your application.
Use an immigration attorney or an attorney’s fee to submit your application for citizenship, including the application fee and application fee in the appropriate form.
When You Wait for Your Interview With the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and the Enrollment Interview
In addition to completing and submitting all the U.S. citizenship process, you will need to have an interview with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to determine eligibility. If you are waiting for your USCIS application to go through your evaluation, it will likely take 3–5 months. Use your attorney or get a fee form to get you started.
Remember to always take the naturalization test, complete an interview, submit an application for citizenship and the necessary forms and be ready to prepare the necessary documents for your interview.
Pick up the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services application at your local USCIS Visitor Center.
There is always a guarantee that your application will be processed within a year. Be prepared for review of your application at the level of USCIS Citizenship and Immigration Services director.
Remember, this whole process is about just waiting for your immigration case to come to a final decision. You don’t need to plan for these steps now, but you should plan for them down the road. For a valuable resource on the specific processes required for becoming a U.S. citizen, you can go to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website and get a pamphlet.
Important Attorneys Resources for U.S. Citizenship Applications
To find an attorney who is qualified to work on your citizenship application and your naturalization interview, go to the Federal Bar Association (FBA) Directory of Attorneys that specialize in US Citizenship Appointments. There is also a Directory of Attorneys in California.