Things to Keep in Mind While Applying for Citizenship

February 23, 2011 § Leave a comment

Eligibility:

You have to fulfill certain requirements in order to qualify for citizenship. You have

– To be 18 years or older.

– To be a permanent resident (Green Card holder) at present and during all of the past 5 years.

– Resided in the US for a continuous period prior to the filing the citizenship application. If you are not married to a US citizen, you should have resided in the US for a continuous period of 5 years after coming to the US as a lawful permanent resident (green card holder). Whereas, if you are married to a US citizen, you should have resided in the US for a continuous period of 3 years after admission to the US as a green card holder.

– Met continuous residence requirement. If married to a US citizen, you must have been physically present in the US for 18 months accumulatively within 3 years prior to the date of applying for US citizenship. If you are not married to a US citizen, you should have been physically present in the US accumulatively for 30 months within 5 years before the date of filing the US citizenship application. This requirement is not continuous but cumulative. You can leave and enter the U.S within the 3 or 5 years as much as you want as long as you do not break the continuity, and as long as your total time spent in the US adds up to 18 or 30 months respectively.

– Resided in your current state for at least 3 months before filing the citizenship application. Current state is the state where you are filing the citizenship application.

– Not broken any US immigration law and that you have not been ordered to leave the US.

– Not been a member of the Communist Party any time during the past 10 years.

– At least 5 years of good moral character and that you believe in the principles of the US constitution.

– The ability to speak, read and write simple English and that you can pass the test on US history and government.

– To take an oath of allegiance to the US.

Preparing the Citizenship Application:

If you meet all the eligibility requirements mentioned above, the next step is to apply for Citizenship. You have to mail the citizenship application along with photos, fees and supporting documents to the USCIS. You will then receive a letter of appointment from the USCIS for fingerprinting. Wait till you receive a letter of appointment from the USCIS for your interview. The USCIS will send a letter (Notice of Action) to you, mentioning the date, time and location of the appointment. You will be required to take the Civics and English Language tests which is done to test your knowledge of English Language, US history and of the US government. If all goes well, you will be called to take the Oath and receive your Certificate of Naturalization.

If you miss the Oath Ceremony, you should return the Form N-445, the “Notice of Naturalization Oath Ceremony”, to your local USCIS office. While returning the form, you should also include a letter explaining why you were not able to make it to the scheduled ceremony. The USCIS will then reschedule your Oath Ceremony date and will mail you a new Form N-445 (Notice of Naturalization Oath Ceremony).

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