Several permanent residents (green cards holders) are eligible to apply for U.S. citizenship. Though they are eligible, they fail to put in their applications for naturalization due to various reasons. Often because they fail to understand the benefits of becoming naturalized U.S. citizens. Many legal residents do not even know they are eligible for naturalization. For some, the application filing fee is a barrier and others feel that the process is long and overwhelming.
However, U.S. citizenship comes with a lot of benefits and the naturalization process is not difficult for those who understand the process. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) offers a variety of resources that will help the eligible legal residents to easily go through the naturalization process.
Filing Form N-400, Application for Naturalization is the first thing the legal residents need to do. However, they need to be aware of the eligibility requirements for naturalization and see to it that they do not file their applications prematurely and waste their filing fee. They also must remember that some legal residents who have criminal records and who have engaged in immoral behavior are ineligible for citizenship.
USCIS has now made revisions to the U.S. citizenship application, but not to the eligibility requirements. Additional questions that will help the immigration authorities determine that the applicants qualify for citizenship have been added to the form. Comprehensive instructions that highlight the eligibility requirements will help the applicants understand the overall process. These instructions will help them to fill out their forms easily.
USCIS will accept previous editions of Form N-400 until May 4, 2014 after which only the new version of the form will be accepted. Legal residents who are eligible for citizenship can fill out the new U.S. citizenship applications electronically. Once they complete the applications, they can print the forms and file them after affixing their signatures.