Naturalization is how immigrants become citizens of the United States. The Form N-400 is the “Application for Citizenship,” and the Form N-600 is the “Application for Certificate of Citizenship” which is used for a child under 18 years old. The current filing fee is $595 and $85 for a biometric fee, where applicable, for a total of $680. These forms are filed through the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) which is a component of the United States Department of Homeland Security. An experienced attorney can prepare and file these forms for you and assist you in preparing for any necessary citizenship interviews.
You will be required to gather and attach documentation and payment to the application. All applicants are required to submit:
- A photocopy of both sides of your Permanent Resident Card
- Two color photographs
- Payment for the application and biometrics fees. However applicants who are 75 or older are exempt from the biometrics.
Applicants may be required to submit additional documentation as well, depending on application category. For example you may need to gather and attach such documents as:
- Birth certificate
- Birth certificates for children
- Marriage certificate
- Divorce decree
- Income tax returns
- Lease agreements
- Pay statements
- Agency printout of child support payments
- Sentencing records
- Probation or parole records
- Crime expungement records
There are many paths to citizenship and many advantages of it. Some paths to citizenship are through family, employment, refugee or asylum status, or other special provisions.
Immediate relatives of U.S. citizens do not have to wait for a visa, and there is no limit to the number of visas that can be issued unlike with some other eligibility categories. Immediate relatives include:
- Parents of a U.S. citizen
- Spouses of a U.S. citizen
- Unmarried children under the age of 21 of a U.S. citizen
Refugee or asylum
If you were admitted to the United States as a refugee or as a qualifying spouse or child of a refugee, you are required to apply for permanent residence one year after your entry into the United States. Additionally, if you were granted asylum in the United States or are a qualifying spouse or child of an asylee, you may apply for permanent residence one year after the grant of your asylum status.
There are several advantages of United States citizenship such as:
- The right to vote
- Reuniting family
- Travelling freely within the United States
- Benefits such as Social Security and Medicare
- Eligibility for federal employment
Contact Our NYC Attorneys for Citizenship
For more information, you can read “A Guide to Naturalization” – Form M-476 which provides detailed information about citizenship eligibility requirements and processing procedures. For a lawyer’s advice about becoming a U.S. citizen, or for help investigating the facts supporting your claim to citizenship, contact us online.