Naturalization is defined as the process in which a foreign citizen is granted U.S. Citizenship after he or she fulfills requirements established through the Immigration and Nationality Act. A person may qualify for naturalization via a number of different requirements. Some steps involved in the process for naturalization include:
- Determining eligibility requirements, such as being least 18 years of age and a permanent resident of the United States for at least 5 years, or 3 years if married to a U.S. citizen, and meet other eligibility requirements;
- Prepare form N-400, or the Application for Naturalization;
- Submit Form N-400 along with a passport-style photo, along with supporting and required documents, as well as all fees to USCIS.
- Go to a biometrics appointment to be photographed and fingerprinted so that the Federal Bureau of Investigation may run the appropriate criminal background checks;
- Complete the interview process at the USCIS office. If the appointment for the interview is missed it may take several months before you a next appointment is available.
- If you fail the English and civics test given at the interview, you may be scheduled for a retake within 60-90 days of the first interview.
- A USCIS officer may determine that USCIS requires more information and they may send a Request for Additional Information, Documents or Forms for you to complete;
- After all steps have been completed and all information reviewed, the USCIS can issue a written notice of decision that will grant or deny your naturalization.
Although this is not an exhaustive list of all the steps involved in the naturalization process, it can be a useful guide for anyone seeking to becoming a naturalized citizen of the United States. If you have questions about naturalization, you should consult with an experienced attorney.
The Law Offices of Cheryl R. David practices immigration law throughout NYC. If you have questions about your particular matters regarding immigration please contact the office to discuss your circumstances and options.