Who Is Eligible to Become a U.S. Citizen?
To be eligible to become a U.S. citizen through the naturalization process, you must:
- Be at least 18 years old when you file your application.
- Have been a lawful permanent resident (have a “Green Card”) for the past three or five years.
- Demonstrate continuous residence in the U.S. for at least five years or three years if married to a U.S. citizen.
- Demonstrate that you have been physically present in the U.S. for at least the past 30 months, or 18 months if married to a U.S. citizen.
- Provide evidence that you have lived in the state where you claim residence for at least three months.
- Be able to read, write, and speak basic English.
- Demonstrate good moral character.
- Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of U.S. history and government.
- Demonstrate loyalty to the principles of the U.S. Constitution.
- Be willing to take the Oath of Allegiance to the United States of America.
What Does the Naturalization Process Entail?
The process involves submission to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) an application for citizenship and supporting documentation, as well as an interview with a USCIS representative.
You will file Form N-400, the Application for Citizenship, either by mail or online. The application must be accompanied by:
- A photocopy of your Permanent Resident Card
- Payment for the application fee ($640) and biometric services fee ($85)
- Two identical photographs of you if you live outside the U.S. when submitting your application
You will also need to submit other documentation, depending on your circumstances. This additional documentation may include:
- The Entry of Appearance for your attorney or accredited representative
- Documentation of any name change from what appears on your Permanent Resident Card (such as a marriage certificate or divorce decree)
- Evidence of marriage if you are applying for naturalization based on marriage to a U.S. citizen
- Evidence of U.S. military service if used as the basis for your application
- Evidence of continuous U.S. residency
- Evidence of a dependent spouse or any children who do not live with you
- Documentation of any criminal arrests, charges, convictions, punishments, and expungements
- Income tax returns
- Evidence if you are applying for a disability exception to the naturalization testing requirement
- Documentation of Selective Service registration or why you did not register when required
After you submit all documentation, you will be required to attend an interview for citizenship with a USCIS officer. Following the interview, you will be notified of the decision regarding your request for citizenship.
The Hearing Request for Residents
Who Have Been Denied Citizenship
If your application for citizenship has been denied, you or your attorney may request a USCIS hearing. The hearing should be scheduled within 180 days of the request and be conducted by an officer other than the one who originally denied your application.
If the hearing results in another denial, the applicant’s attorney may request a hearing in the appropriate U.S. District Court.
Get The Guidance You Need to
Become a Naturalized Citizen
The journey to becoming a naturalized U.S. citizen involves applications, documentation, and evidence of your commitment to becoming a citizen. The process can often be very complex and overwhelming, especially if you have trouble speaking English or if you have a criminal record.
Luckily, you don’t have to face this process on your own. Having experienced Texas naturalization attorneys to guide you through the process will make the entire journey much smoother. Your attorney can protect your rights and ensure that all required documentation is properly filled out and filed on time. So don’t wait. If you or someone you know is interested in becoming a naturalized citizen, call or reach out to The Torres Attorneys today for reliable legal guidance and support.