Applying for U.S. citizenship, a process that is also known as Naturalization, is quite an exciting prospect. Though applying for U.S. citizenship is a long and an extensive process, for most, it is really worth the time as well as the effort that the process demands.
USCIS or the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services handles citizenship applications and here are some of the basic needs that must be met while applying for citizenship in the U.S.
- You have the green card
- You are more than 18 years old
- You have had a green card for at least 5 years or 3 years if you the spouse of a U.S. citizen
- During the 5 or 3 year period of time, you have been in the U.S. for at least half the time
- You are able to read, write and speak in English
- You can pass the test on U.S. history as well as government
- You swear to uphold the principles of the U.S. constitution and pledge to be loyal to the United States
Documents Required to Apply for U.S. Citizenship
The application process for U.S. citizenship requires a number of forms as well as documents for determination of your eligibility for Naturalization.
Regardless of whether you are an investor or an individual looking forward to settle in the U.S., it is better to seek the assistance of a U.S. immigration attorney to prepare your documents.
Several documents are necessary to apply for U.S. citizenship. Remember that each application is unique, depending on the applicant. You may not require all the documents that are listed here. But to be on the safer side, it is better to keep the following documents handy.
- Documents regarding personal information(Green card, 2 color photographs, documents on name changes, Form G-325B, proof that you maintained U.S. residence during trips that lasted 6 months or more).
- Proof of spouse’s citizenship if you apply for citizenship based on marriage (spouse’s passport, birth certificate, Naturalization certificate, Form FS-240).
- Documents pertaining to marital status (certificate of marriage).
- Documents on military service (Form N-426 and Status Information Letter obtained of Selective Service)
- Tax related documents (IRS Tax Form 1722, copies of tax returns filed in the past three to five years, signed agreements with the state, federal and the local tax authorities).
- Documents on child and spousal support (copy of the child or spousal support orders, evidence that you complied with the child and spousal support order).
- Documents on criminal record (copy of court disposition for instances of arrest or detention by police, records showing completion of criminal sentences).
As you see, there are several documents you may require to fill the citizenship form. Make sure to plan well in advance so that you don’t miss any deadline.
Now let us take a look at some steps to be a U.S. citizen.
Find out Whether You are Eligible
The first step is to determine whether you are eligible to naturalize. As already said you need to be a green card holder and must have a permanent residence in the U.S.
Fill Out N-400 Form
Completing this form is very important. The USCIS officer will be asking you several question based on this form to determine your eligibility for citizenship as well as your ability to speak and understand English.
Make sure to fill out this form accurately since otherwise the citizenship process might get delayed.
Is There Anything in Your Past that May Make Getting the Citizenship Difficult?
Do you have a criminal record or any other issues that may cause trouble when you apply for the process of Naturalization? If yes, it is better to take the help of an attorney. They will advise you on strengthening your application so that you need not face unnecessary delays or rejection.
Have you Signed up for Citizenship Class or Planning to Study?
To crack the citizenship test, you need to know English and have an understanding of U.S. history and civics. It is better to begin studying as early as possible. Get the requisite books and resources or sign up for citizenship tests so that you get adequate preparation time.
Be straightforward and truthful while you answer immigration questions. You can keep copies as well as the originals of everything you mail and use a tracking method while you submit the form to USCIS.