U.S. Citizenship Through Naturalization
The benefits of U.S. citizenship
Citizens of the U.S. can have a job and live in the country as long as they want to. They can also use programs the government runs, like Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare. A U.S. citizen is protected from deportation.
How to become a U.S. citizen
The most common way a person becomes a U.S. citizen is by being born in the country. If you were born in another country, you can still become a citizen. The process of becoming a citizen is called naturalization. There are rules a non-U.S. citizen must follow:
- You must be a Permanent Resident for at least five years. If you are married to a U.S. citizen, you have to be a Permanent Resident for three years.
- While you are a Permanent Resident, you have to live in the U.S. for more than half of the five years. If you are a Permanent Resident and married to a U.S. citizen, you have to live in the U.S. for more than half of the three years.
- You have to follow the laws of the U.S. This is called having “good moral character.” A person can still become a citizen if they break the law, but it depends on what law they broke. You can read more here. A lawyer can help you understand this rule.
- You have to go to an interview at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). An interview means a person(s) ask you questions, and you have to answer as honestly as you can. The questions generally test U.S. civic and English language knowledge. A lawyer can help you prepare for the interview.
It is not always easy to become a U.S. citizen. Answering all the questions on the applications can be confusing and take a lot of time. The interview process can too. But it is possible! We know how the process works and will guide you through it. We’ll make sure you know what to do and when to do it so you can become a U.S. citizen.
To learn more about becoming a Permanent Resident, click here.