A person can become a US citizen by birth and some derive or acquire US citizenship from their US citizen parents. If you were not born in America and if you were not born to US citizen parents, you can obtain US citizenship through the legal process called naturalization.
If you seek to become a naturalized US citizen, you must first determine your eligibility for US citizenship and you must ensure that you satisfy the key criteria for US citizenship. You must have been a Green Card holder in the United States for 5 years and you may not be eligible to apply for US citizenship if you are below age 18.
If you feel that you are eligible for US citizenship, you need to complete and file the USCIS Form N-400. You need to carefully fill out this form without missing any important information. Similarly, your naturalization application must accompany few supporting documents and passport style photographs.
Check your form for accuracy and mail the application package containing Form N-400, supporting documents and the form filing fees, to the right USCIS lockbox. USCIS will mail you a receipt notice after receiving your application. Don’t forget to retain a copy of Form N-400, that you file, for your reference as you will have answer questions about your application during your naturalization interview.
USCIS will review your application and if the immigration officers approve your US citizenship application, you will be required to appear for biometrics collection. You need follow the instructions and go to the designated location and if you fail to appear for biometrics collection, your application may be denied.
After biometrics submission, you will be informed about your naturalization interview. Don’t miss your interview and make it a point to be present at the USCIS office at least 15 minutes ahead of the scheduled time. You need to take with you, your appointment notice and other original documents such as your Green Card and other immigration papers.
The interview questions will be about your naturalization application and you just need to remember the details that you had entered in your Form N-400, to answer the questions. You must then take the English and the civics tests. The immigration officer will inform you about your interview results soon after your interview. But you may not be able to receive your interview results, if the USCIS officer is unable to decide on your case. In such cases you may be required to submit few other documents and you may be required to appear for an interview again. Similarly, if you do not pass the English or the Civics test, you will be given another chance to take the tests within 3 months.
After you successfully complete your naturalization test, you will be notified about the oath ceremony where you will take the oath of Allegiance to America. You will become a US citizen after you take the oath and you will be granted a naturalization certificate.