Immigration Services U.S. Citizenship in Houston Texashttps://toppinslawfirm.com/wp-content/themes/toppins/images/empty/thumbnail.jpg 150 150 Wasim Wasim https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/9402f7ed21295a9145078a28c1b792c7?s=96&d=mm&r=g
Have you ever wondered what it takes to be a U.S. citizen? It is not all gloom as most people make it seem. In fact, you can easily become naturalized if you meet all the set requirements. However, you will have to contend with long waiting times.
Here is a brief insight into the three phases of becoming naturalized as a U.S. citizen.
Phase 1: Meeting the Eligibility Requirements
There are several requirements that every U.S. citizen should meet to fulfill the American values. These requirements are:
- Have a green card
- Be at least 18 years old
- Have good moral character
You have to have certain qualities that prove your morals are good. For instance, you should be honest and helpful in accordance with American values.
- Can read, write, and speak basic English
To fit into the U.S. society, then you need to speak in English. You should also be literate enough to read and write in the language.
- Have lived in the U.S. as a permanent resident for some time
You must have lived in the U.S. for five years without any major criminal records. However, there are exceptions for refugees and political asylum seekers. Spouses of U.S. citizens should have resided in the country for at least three years before applying, while those who serve in the U.S. military are exempted to just one year.
- Have been physically present in the U.S. for some time
You must have been physically present in the U.S. for at least half of the time of permanent residency. You can travel, but not for more than one year at a time. It is important to note that the USCIS keeps a close watch on your traveling habits, so you should never lie about it.
- Pass the test about the U.S.’s history and its government make-up
You have to know about your new country if you want to be a U.S. citizen. This is tested by your knowledge of the U.S.’s history as well as the U.S. government’s makeup.
- Pledge allegiance to the constitution
Finally, you have to pledge your allegiance to the U.S. Constitution and stand by everything that it stands for.
Phase 2: Applying for Citizenship
Once you determine that you are eligible for the U.S. citizenship, the next step is actually applying for naturalization. This involves:
- Completing the application
Application for naturalization is made using form N-400. It is vital to fill in all the sections of the form or else it will be delayed or rejected. The form is easily available for download on the USCIS website.
- Providing the necessary documents
The form will ask for several documents including passport-sized photographs and a copy of your green card. Be sure to provide all the required documents. You should also attach proof that you have paid the required fee.
- Submit your application
Once done, you should mail your application together with all the necessary documents to the USCIS lockbox facility near you. You can easily obtain the address of your area’s lockbox facility on the internet.
- Get fingerprinted
Once the USCIS receives your application, you will be summoned to get your fingerprints taken. It can be months before you get summoned, so don’t worry but check up on the progress from time to time.
Phase 3: Completing the Tests and Inauguration
The final phase is also the most important for determining whether you are eligible for U.S. citizenship. It involves:
- Completing the USCIS interview
The interview is considered the toughest part of the application process. The interviewer will ask you questions to determine your level of command of English as well as your knowledge of the U.S. history. You should also expect questions regarding your background and character.
- Waiting for the decision
As mentioned earlier, it takes time for the USCIS to go through every application. Once yours is reviewed, you can expect one of three outcomes: granted, denied, or continuation. You can always appeal if your application is denied. If it is continued, then you need to review your application and determine what was wrong with it then make the necessary remedies.
- Attending the naturalization inauguration ceremony
Becoming naturalized as a U.S. citizen is a big deal that even involves inauguration. It is a brief ceremony that may seem somewhat formal. Some of the requirements involve submitting your permanent resident card, pledging your allegiance to the U.S. Constitution, and then receiving your Certificate of Naturalization. You may also be required to answer some questions about what you have been up to since taking the interview.
Get it Right
Applying for U.S. citizenship sounds easy, right. All the same, it is advisable to consult a lawyer to ensure that you get everything right. If you are a Houston resident, then My Visa Solutions is the best firm to approach with all your immigration services needs. We have a track record of success, and we will handle everything so that you can go about your daily duties.
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