5 Steps to Apply for US Citizenship: Naturalization Application
Becoming a U.S. citizen through naturalization is a meaningful milestone. But navigating the application process requires precision to avoid missteps. This guide will walk through the key steps for applying for citizenship so you can feel prepared.
The naturalization application has extensive requirements around continuous residency, good moral character, English proficiency, U.S. government knowledge and more. Having a great immigration lawyer ensures you meet all eligibility criteria and submit a complete, error-free application.
LaToya McBean Pompy, immigrated to the United States herself. Her experience sparked an interest in helping many families be together in the U.S. and across the world by founding McBean Law. If you need help with your or a loved one’s visa, contact us here or call us today at (888)-462-4006 to schedule a private consultation with LaToya and her team of immigration attorneys who are here to help you.
Overview of Naturalization Requirements
To qualify for U.S. citizenship through naturalization, you must:
Be a permanent resident for 5 continuous years
Reside in the state or USCIS district where applying for 3 months
Be physically present in the U.S. for 30 months
Demonstrate good moral character
Pass English and civics exams
Take the oath of allegiance
The attorneys at McBean Law have helped many clients successfully prepare complex naturalization applications for individuals with a criminal record, tax problems, child support issues, and other moral character issues. Our New York immigration lawyers also appeal naturalization denials and respond to a Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID) clients in New York and all across the United States.
Proof of meeting these requirements is mandatory for approval. A lawyer can help you navigate this properly.
Step 1: Establish Eligibility
The first step is determining if you meet all the naturalization eligibility requirements. Key criteria include:
Being 18+ years old
Having permanent resident status for 5+ continuous years
Physically living in the U.S. for 30+ months
Being able to read, write and speak basic English
Passing the civics exam on U.S. history and government
Being of good moral character
Documenting how you meet every requirement is crucial for a strong application.
Step 2: Complete Your Application
The main form is the N-400 Application for Naturalization. Meticulously completing this 20-page form is vital to avoid delays.
Be sure to provide exact dates and details on:
Employers and schools
Mistakes or missing info can raise red flags, so accuracy is key.
Step 3: Gather Supporting Documents
In addition to the N-400, you must submit supporting documents like:
Permanent resident card
Legal name change docs
Arrest records and court dispositions
Having an organized binder makes document submission easy.
Step 4: Biometrics Appointment
USCIS will schedule a biometrics appointment to collect fingerprints, photo and signature. These verify identity and conduct background checks.
Step 5: Interview
The final step is an in-person naturalization interview. You will be asked questions about your N-400 application and background. Civics exam testing English and government knowledge also occurs.
Thoroughly preparing with an attorney helps ensure you make a good impression and pass. With approval, you then attend an oath ceremony to become an official U.S. citizen!
Why Hire an Immigration Lawyer for Naturalization?
Pursuing U.S. citizenship is an extremely detail-oriented process. Just one mistake on your application can lead to delay or denial. Having an experienced immigration lawyer for citizenship on your side is invaluable for:
Navigating Complex Requirements
Citizenship eligibility rules are nuanced and change frequently. Lawyers stay up-to-date to ensure your qualifications.
Lawyers meticulously complete N-400s and supporting documents to avoid issues or mistakes.
Attorneys know exactly which documents properly satisfy naturalization requirements. No gaps.
Lawyers carefully review your history to identify potential red flags early.
Lawyers do mock interviews to ensure you are ready to pass the exam testing and questioning.
With legal knowledge, you can get approved smoothly and quickly the first time.
5 Key Steps for Naturalization with a Lawyer's Guidance
Below are the key steps in the naturalization process when assisted by an immigration attorney:
1. Confirm Eligibility
The lawyer reviews your background in depth to confirm you meet all naturalization requirements.
2. Handle Application
Your lawyer flawlessly completes the N-400 application and other forms on your behalf.
3. Collect Documents
The lawyer gathers and submits all supporting documents required by USCIS.
4. Interview Preparation
The lawyer prepares you for the interview, civics exam and English testing required.
5. Oath Ceremony
Once approved, the lawyer ensures you complete the oath ceremony to officially become a citizen.
5 FAQs About the Naturalization Application Process
Applying for U.S. citizenship leads to many questions. Here are some common ones:
How long does it take to get approved for citizenship?
The process usually takes 6-12 months from application to oath ceremony.
Why did my citizenship application get denied?
Insufficient continuous residency, criminal issues, and failure to file taxes are some of the common reasons we see for application rejection.
Does a lawyer increase your chances of approval?
Yes, legal knowledge ensures applications are error-free and requirements are met.
What documents help prove my physical presence in the U.S.?
Tax returns, bank statements, leases, utility bills, employment records.
Can I check the status of my citizenship application?
Yes, via the USCIS online case tracker with receipt number.
Don't Delay - Contact a Citizenship Lawyer Today
Becoming a U.S. citizen is a profound achievement. Don't jeopardize it with application errors or eligibility gaps. LaToya McBean Pompy, immigrated to the United States herself. Her experience sparked an interest in helping many families be together in the U.S. by founding McBean Law. If you need help with your or a loved one’s visa, contact us here or call us today at (888)-462-4006 to schedule a private consultation with LaToya and her team of immigration attorneys who are here to help you.