Citizenship and Naturalization

Citizenship and Naturalization

People born outside of the United States who wish to become U.S. citizens must go through a process called Naturalization. The naturalization process is fairly extensive and includes several eligibility requirements and several tests. Once someone applies for citizenship, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will thoroughly investigate their background and history.

If you apply for citizenship and USCIS finds out that you have committed a crime, falsified documents to obtain a Green Card, or lived outside the United States without permission, you risk being deported. Immigration Attorney Karla De La Rosa-King is familiar with the process of Naturalization and will help you become a citizen.

Requirements for Citizenship

Generally speaking, the requirements to become a naturalized citizen are the following:

  • You must be at least 18 years old when you file the Form N-400, Application for Naturalization also known as Citizenship Application
  • You must be a lawful permanent resident
  • You must demonstrate continuous residency in the United States for at least 5 years. In some cases, this may be 3 years if you are married to a U.S. citizen.
  • You must show that you have been physically present in the United States for at least 30 months.  In some cases, this may be 18 months if you are married to a U.S. citizen.
  • You must have lived for at least 3 months in the state or USCIS district where you claim residence.
  • You must be able to read, write, and speak basic English
  • You must have a basic understanding of United States history and government
  • You must be a person of good moral character
  • You must demonstrate an attachment to the principles and ideals of the U.S. Constitution

After confirming that they meet the above eligibility requirements, a potential applicant for naturalization must then take the following steps:

  • Confirm that they’re not already a U.S. citizen
  • Prepare and submit Form N-400, the Application for Naturalization
  • Attend the biometric (fingerprinting) appointment
  • Complete the interview and take the necessary English and civics tests if they weren’t granted a waiver
  • Take the Oath of Allegiance to the United States once a positive decision from the USCIS has been received
  • Make sure to understand your rights and responsibilities as a U.S. citizen

If you have concerns about your eligibility for citizenship or want guidance with completing this process, please contact us for more information or to schedule an appointment with Immigration Attorney Karla De La Rosa-King.

Additional Information

Naturalization Interview
Naturalization Test