Naturalization…Becoming A Citizen of the United States

Naturalization is the biggest, and final, step in the immigration process for anyone who has immigrated to the United States.

For those that entered on a K1 fiancé visa, this process can be done after being a Permanent Resident (Green Card holder) for a period of 3 years, and having gone through the ROC (Removal of Conditions) process. The process is pretty straightforward, and begins with the applicant filing USCIS Form N-400 (view here): 

USCIS Form N-400 Link

You will need to include many of the same documents that were submitted for the K1 fiancé visa process or CR1 spouse visa process, the AOS (adjustment of status) process and the ROC process. You would think that by this point, USCIS would already have a database of this mountain of information which they have collected from you over the past several years, but if they do, they either don’t reference it, or don’t take the time. Either way, you will need to submit

  • Proof of name change, if different than what appears on your permanent resident card

  • Proof of identity for you & your spouse

  • Marriage certificate

  • Proof of termination of any prior marriages for you & your spouse

  • A copy of both front & back of your permanent resident card

  • IRS tax filing info for the past 5 years; 3 years if naturalization is based on marriage to a US citizen

  • Documents relating to you & your spouse, such as bank account info, tax returns, leases/mortgages, birth certificates of children born during the marriage, etc.

In addition to those basics listed above, any applicant for naturalization must also submit any documentation pertaining to any arrest, regardless of whether charges were filed; any arrest that resulted in charges; any conviction in a court of law; any arrest or conviction which was set aside or vacated, sealed or expunged.

As of this writing, the current filing fees for naturalization are as follows:

                Filing fee:                            $640

                Biometrics:                          $85

                Total:                                   $725

At this point, I’m sure you’re thinking to yourself
“Why in the world does USCIS need my fingerprints again?"

I can understand the need for a new photograph…we change as we age; but fingerprints don’t change. Just humor them…it is the government you’re dealing with here, so don’t expect too much rationale or reason to be involved in their processes!

Now, one step of the process that stands out as being quite unique is the interview. Applicants will be lightly tested on their English skills (reading, writing & speaking), as well as fundamentals of US history, and the form/principals of our government. You must also support the Constitution of the United States, and be willing to take an oath of allegiance to the United States.

You will want to read the Guide to Naturalization on the USCIS website:

guide to naturalization link

You will also want to study for the English & civics tests, and the study guide can be found here:

study guide link

During the test, applicant will be tested on their ability to speak English, read English by reading one out of three sentences correctly, and write English by writing one out of three sentences correctly. For the civics test, applicants will be asked up to 10 questions, and must get 6 of them correct; answer the first 6 correctly, and you’re done!

There is a total of 100 questions from which the interviewing officer can draw his 10 questions. You can prepare for this portion of the test by looking over all 100 possible questions & answers here:

 

interview guide link

Once the interview is complete, and all tests passed satisfactorily, you will be requested to appear at the official ceremony, where you & many others will gather, raise your right hand, take the oath, and officially become US citizens!! The moment that ceremony is complete, you are no longer an immigrant, but a citizen of the United States of America.

Ready to take this step, and get the petition filed?  Contact us, and we will fully prepare your N-400 petition, and get you started on this last, exciting step in your immigration journey.

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