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Everything You Wanted to Know About US Citizenship Application

US Citizenship Application

The American continent promises a lot but shares most of its opportunities only with its citizens. If you want to truly enjoy the benefits of USA, an application for US citizenship is what you need. An individual can become a citizen of US by birthright, through a process of naturalization or acquire it with the help of law. Citizenship through birthright means when the citizenship of a person is ensured, being born in the US, being born of US citizen parents or automatically through naturalized parents. If you do not belong to any of these, you can attain it by seeking the help of law.

Requirements of the Naturalization Process

In order to apply for naturalization, you have to be at least 18 years of age and be a permanent resident of the United States:

  • For at least 5 years
  • For at least 3 years during which period you have been, and continue to be, married to and living in a marital relationship with your U.S. citizen spouse
  • If you are presently serving in the U.S. army with at least 1 year of service, you can apply for citizenship while in the military or within 6 months of honorable discharge.

In addition to this, there are some basic requirements, which include:

  • A person must be residing in his/her current state for at least 3 months
  • Should be of a good moral character and not involved in any criminal activities
  • Should be capable of understanding, reading, writing, and speaking in simple English during an INS interview
  • Should take an oath of allegiance to the United States

When an immigrant fulfills all of the above-mentioned necessities, he/she becomes eligible to apply for citizenship by filling up the citizenship application Form N 400. There is only one exception to this process, i.e., those who held services in the U.S. military during a past war, or are serving at present, and certain spouses of such citizens may file for naturalization sooner than others.

Requirements as per Law

US laws state that citizenship application requires these basic mandates:

  • Must be 18 years or older;
  • Must be a permanent resident, generally for 5 years, with few exceptions;
  • Have a continuous residence period and physical presence in the United States;
  • Should be a person of good moral character;
  • Must have basic knowledge of US history and government;
  • Must be capable of reading, writing, and speaking simple English.

Some people are exempted from the language requirement rule, if:

  • He/she is 50 years old and has been permanent resident for 20 years minimum;
  • He/she is 55 years old and has been permanent resident for 15 years minimum;
  • He/she is physically or mentally challenged permanently, making him/her unable to fulfill these criteria.

N 400 Application Form for Immigration

The Immigration N 400 Application Form (citizenship application), your ticket to US citizenship, is a very simple form, where you need to provide complete genuine details about yourself. It is segmented into different parts and each section has to be duly filled because an incomplete citizenship application form can lead to rejection. You can follow the instructions clearly stated on the form and fill it up carefully. The things that must be present in the citizenship application packet are – N 400 Application Form, photocopy of your permanent residence card as evidence of legal permanent residence, fees, two passport-style photographs, along with other necessary supporting documents.

Things you must know before filling up the N 400 Application Form

There are certain important facets, which you need to bring into consideration when completing the N 400 Application Form (citizenship application). These are:

  • Someone who is born to US citizen parents, but born outside the US, need not file the N 400 Application Form.
  • If the migrant is more than 65 years of age and has been a permanent resident for at least 15 years, he/she no longer needs to take the English test and can take the civics test in a language he/she desires.
  • If the immigrant is above 65 years, he/she not only are exempted from the English test but can also take a much simpler civics test in a language he or she chooses.

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