It is a widely known fact that getting US citizenship is quite a complicated matter. Making errors is quite common among those who want to immigrate to the country and little mistakes or errors can result in huge consequences. So, it is very important to be cautious during any US immigration process.
US Citizenship Eligibility
The first requirement you should fulfill if you want US citizenship is to possess a green card. Moreover, you should be above 18 years of age and should have stayed in the United States for a continuous period before the filing of naturalization application. You should also have been physically residing in the country for half of the period of continuous residence.
Qualifying Process for US Citizenship
If you want to qualify for US citizenship, you have to undertake a civics test and an English language test. You, as an applicant have to satisfy the interviewer by proving that you can write, read and speak English and that you have adequate knowledge about history and background of USA. Exceptions are there to the Civics and English test requirements though. If you get a waiver for the English proficiency requirement, you need to bring an interpreter with you.
Points to Check Out While Applying for US Citizenship
As an applicant for citizenship, you must make sure that you have filled in all the information correctly and that your application is complete. Your supporting documents must be ready including marriage proof, birth certificate and verification letters, if applicable. You can make your case stronger if you have all the relevant documents. Another very important thing to ensure is that your green card has not expired or will not expire within the next six months.
Here are certain points to consider while filing up the US citizenship form:
- Make sure that you fulfill all the eligibility requirements.
- Ensure that your green card is valid. You cannot file the citizenship application if your green card has expired or will expire within the next six months. In such a case you need to renew your green card first and then apply for citizenship.
- You should never submit an unsigned form. It is compulsory to sign and date the forms.
- In case, you are submitting any document in some other language, you must attach the English translation of the same. Also remember to add a certificate from the translator confirming his/her eligibility to do the translation.
- Be careful about misspellings of names, different information on different documents and wrong date of birth.
- The US immigration forms keep on changing from time to time. The USCIS sometimes accepts older edition forms. Make sure the form you have is a current edition.
- Make sure the information you provide is correct. If you hide something from USCIS and if the authorities find out, your application will be rejected.
- Provide all information transparently, especially information regarding any criminal activities you may have been involved in. Even traffic tickets and cases that have been expunged need to be mentioned.
- When dealing with photos, ensure that you meet the specifications regarding position, background, size and other factors as well.
- Ensure that you have the right information regarding fees, mailing address and supporting documents. All this can be found on the instructions pages that can be downloaded along with the application form.
- Don’t gather information about US immigration from here and there. Instead, get accurate information from US immigration offices, from the government websites or from an immigration lawyer.
- Don’t send any original document unless you are specifically requested to.
- Make photocopies of all whatever you send to the USCIS, including the check and keep them safely.
- Check and re-check your application.
- Check and re-check the contents of your application packet.
- Make sure your application packet is being mailed to the correct address.
- Send the application packed through a traceable delivery method, such as UPS, FedEx or USPS (United States Postal Service).
- Keep whatever correspondence you receive from the USCIS carefully.
Preparation and care before and while preparing your application and while sending it to the USCIS is all that is required to make sure that this part of your US immigration process is completed without any hassles. Being a citizen grants you some great benefits, so don’t let some careless mistake prevent or delay your access to those rights and benefits.