There are a lot of terms when discussing the immigration process. Naturalization is the legal process by which a non-citizen in a country can become a citizen in that country. It is important to know there are two means of obtaining U.S. citizenship. Any person born in the United States or born in another country to parents who are U.S. citizens is automatically a U.S. citizen by birthright. That person can claim his or her citizenship at any point in time. The second way someone can obtain U.S. citizenship involves naturalization, which is a legal process of certain requirements that must be met to claim citizenship.
After going through the immigration naturalization process, a person will have many rights of a natural-born citizen. He or she can vote, travel using a U.S. passport, run as a candidate for a U.S. government office, and seek employment with the U.S. government. The naturalization process usually begins with “lawful permanent status,” which means an individual must first obtain his or her green card. This can be done by a family member or employer sponsoring a person, among other ways. Once someone has secured a green card, he or she must obey all the laws of the United States for a set period of time, typically five years. Unique exceptions to some of these rules are made for military members as well as other applicants.
There are other qualifications an individual must meet before even applying for naturalization besides just residency, including the following:
If someone meets the above qualifications, he or she can start the naturalization process by filing United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) form N-400. After a person has correctly filed the document, he or she will be notified about his or her U.S. citizenship test and interview. These requirements examine a person’s command of the English language, as well as U.S. history and civics. To be considered a naturalized citizen of the United States, an applicant must pass the test and interview. There are U.S. citizenship classes and other resources to help one prepare for the exam.
Once someone has passed the test, the final step in the naturalization process is a ceremony in which the applicant will be sworn in. At the ceremony, the applicant must repeat an oath to the United States. Once the ceremony is over, he or she will be a U.S. citizen.
Many people may not understand all the steps involved in the naturalization process. If you or a beloved family member is hoping to become a U.S. citizen, it is important to understand the legal requirements you must meet. The knowledgeable Mevorah Law Offices LLC have more than 40 years of experience in handling all different types of immigration cases. An Illinois immigration attorney will work with you to achieve your or your loved one’s dream of becoming a natural citizen. To schedule a free consultation, call our office at 630-932-9100 today.
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