Being a citizen of the United States affords an individual as many rights and benefits that the country has to offer. For instance, federal and state voting rights, the right to petition family members to live in the country, and to go abroad without fear of losing the right to go back. However, it is precisely for these reasons that U.S. citizenship is difficult to obtain. Unless you’re one of the fortunate ones who automatically qualify for citizenship through birth or your parents, you have to apply for U.S. citizenship via the naturalization process. But before you apply, you should have been a lawful permanent resident or green card holder for three or five years and also satisfy certain eligibility requirements.
If you’re interested in becoming a U.S. citizen, you should first ensure that you meet these basic eligibility requirements:
You’ll have to complete the citizenship application and then send it to the USCIS with a copy of your permanent resident card (green card), the required fee, and require photos. Next, you’ll need to wait for several months to hear back from your local USCIS, depending on the office’s backlogs.
If the USCIS does not see anything wrong with your application, you’ll be scheduled for a biometric fingerprint appointment and given an interview date. During your interview, the USCIS officer will test your U.S. government and history knowledge and your English language skills, unless you’re exempted from taking these tests. Disabled applicants will be provided appropriate accommodations in interviews.
If everything goes well during your interview and you passed the tests, you will be given a date for your oath or swearing-in ceremony. During this ceremony, you will become an official U.S. citizen and receive your certificate of naturalization.
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