Requirements and Steps to Follow to Become a Legal U.S Citizenship
On your pathway to becoming a U.S citizen, there are certain requirements you need to fulfill and some tests you need to pass.
First comes the basic eligibility requirements:
The most important requirement which determines your eligibility greatly is the amount of time you have held a Green Card-it is set at a time period of 5 years.
You must be at least eighteen years old at the time of your application.
It is a must for you to have had a continuous U.S residence for five years prior to your application filing date
From the 5 years you have held a Green Card for, you are required to have lived physically in the United States for a minimum time period of 30 months altogether
The state you plan on applying for also plays its role here. You must provide sufficient evidence proving a stay of at least three months in that state
You must have basic knowledge of the English Language; basic writing, speaking and reading skills
An understanding and basic knowledge of the history of the United States, it's government and its values is required
A display of your respect for the U.S Constitution is required
You are required to be an individual of a decent moral character; there should not exist any serious felony charges against you in the past or present
It is compulsory for you to meet ALL of these requirements in order for your application to pass through to the USCIS. If you think you meet the application criteria, submit the form N-400 after following all the instructions, completing all fields truthfully and paying the application fee. Once your application passes, there is a series of the following steps you are required to follow to achieve your end goal. This is a long, time consuming process and can take up to 6 months.
After being declared applicable, you will be called on to provide your bio-metric information at a venue, date and time appointed by USCIS so that the Immigration authorities can go through your background and history. A photograph and your fingerprints will be taken there. A fee for the bio-metrics test is payable, however, applicants aging over 75 years receive exemptions.
Interview and Tests
You will then be informed of the date, time and location for your citizenship/naturalization interview. You will be required to not miss the appointment date and pass ALL the tests that follow.
During your interview, the interviewer will ask questions about your background and life history. Afterwards, you will be required to appear for the English test we mentioned earlier. (Your ability to speak the language properly will be judged throughout the interview by your communication skills). Your reading test will require you to read the three sentences presented in front of you by the officers. For your writing test, you will be required to write three sentences correctly. The material used in both of these tests will be based on U.S history and civics.
After that, the mandatory civics test will be conducted which will require you to answer, correctly, 6 of the 10 questions asked by the officer. These questions will be about the values and historic events of the United States.
Receive Your Decision
After you have met all of the above mentioned initial and later requirements and passed through every required step carefully, you will receive the final decision about your application. If denied, you are allowed to appeal and take your case to a courtroom within thirty days of rejection. If accepted, you will be required to take an oath of allegiance from any judge in any court or from the one appointed to you by USCIS.
Thereafter, you will be labeled as a U.S citizen and will be required to hand over your Green Card in exchange for a 'Certification of Naturalization'.