September 17th is National Citizenship Day! In celebration of this holiday, we’re sharing information and resources about naturalization and receiving U.S. citizenship.
To become a naturalized U.S. citizen, there are three main steps:
- Meet eligibility requirements
- Be a legal permanent resident of the U.S.
- Go through the naturalization process
To be eligible for naturalization, you have to be at least 18 years old and file an Application for Naturalization (Form N-400). Before you can file, you must be a permanent resident with a Green Card for at least five years and you have to be able to prove that you had continuous residence in the U.S. for that time, meaning you’ve been physically in the country for at least 30 months out of those five years. You also must have lived in the state or district where you choose to apply for at least three months.
What You’ll Need to Know
Naturalization also has several requirements related to your character, as well as your education. You have to demonstrate that you are of good moral character, that you have an attachment to the ideals and principles described by the U.S. Constitution, plus have a basic understanding of U.S. history and government (civics). Finally, you must be able to speak, read, and write basic English, and take an oath of allegiance to the United States.
Naturalization involves an application process. First, you will need to make a biometrics appointment (which is a fancy way of saying that they take your fingerprints, photo, and signature). Information collected will be used to run a background check. And you will need to complete an English test, U.S. civics test, and a naturalization interview. Once you are approved, you’ll be scheduled to take an Oath of Allegiance at an official citizenship ceremony.
For complete understanding of the process to become a U.S. citizen, check out the 10 Steps to Naturalization information from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to find out if it’s the right choice for you. Some financial institutions also offer loan assistance to help cover the costs associated with the application and legal fees, including Vantage West’s Citizenship Loans.
Naturalization Test Additional Resources
Happy Citizenship Day!