Are you considering becoming an American citizen? If so, understanding the requirements and timeline for the process of naturalization in the United States can make for a better experience. This article covers everything you need to know about naturalization, including:
- The necessary residency requirements,
- The citizenship exam, and
- How long the process typically takes.
What Is The Process For Naturalization In The United States?
The process of naturalization in the United States is often long and involved. Before applying and formally beginning the process, you must be a legal permanent resident of the United States for three or five years. How long you must wait depends on how you initially obtained your residency. For example, if you received residency through marriage to a U.S. citizen, you can apply after three years. However, if you obtained residence through other means, such as cancellation of removal, you must wait five years to apply. You can submit your application up to 90 days before the completion of your waiting period.
To qualify for naturalization, you must also have paid taxes and any child support you may have. You must also pay an application fee of $725.
Beyond this, you must pass a civics exam. These exams have 100 questions, but test administrators typically only ask ten and will likely pass you once you answer six correctly. There is a written portion to this test that generally requires simply being able to write one sentence in English. In addition to this, you must pass a verbal and reading exam, as well as demonstrate good moral character. If you cannot complete the English exam due to a disability, you may be exempt with a statement from a doctor.
When you take the naturalization test, you will also be interviewed. Assuming you pass the exam, meet all other requirements, and have no negative notations on your application, you will receive your naturalization certificate and become a U.S. citizen.
It is critical to note that while undergoing the process of naturalization in the United States, you are prohibited from being outside the United States for more than a specified term during your waiting period. Failure to comply with this may put your application in jeopardy.
How Long Does It Take To Become Naturalized?
It is essential to keep in mind that processing times can and do vary between jurisdictions and offices. However, processing times, from applying for citizenship to getting an interview with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service, are generally about five months in most cases we handle.
For more information on the Process Of Naturalization In The United States, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (562) 352-2861 today.