Naturalization is the process of becoming a naturalized citizen if you were not born in the United States or born to parents who were United States citizens. The naturalization process gives you all the same benefits as people who have been born in the United States and have citizenship by birthright. However, the process of naturalization is a little more complicated. If you are a citizen by birthright, you don’t have to do anything other than claiming your citizenship in order to be a United States citizen. However, in order to be a naturalized citizen, you have to undergo the naturalization process. In order to do this, you must:
1) Become qualified for naturalization. Well before naturalization can take place, you must generally become a green card holder or lawful permanent resident of the United States. You must also generally meet certain residency requirements. The residency requirements will vary greatly upon your situation. For example, the residency requirements for military personnel and for spouses of US citizens are much more relaxed. In addition to becoming a lawful resident and meeting residency requirements by living in the United States for an extended period of time, you must also master the English language as well as an understanding of US history and civics. You must also maintain good character by not getting into legal trouble or committing crimes.
2) Apply for naturalization: A good place to start is by looking at the USCIS website. The website has information about what qualifications you need to meet in order to become a naturalized citizen. If you meet all the qualifications, you can apply for naturalization by downloading and filing the latest version of the N-400 form, which is an application for naturalization.
3) Get ready to take the citizenship test and interview. Once you have applied for naturalization by filing USCIS Form N-400, you will generally get a letter from the USCIS, telling you the dates and location of your naturalization interview and test. To pass this test, you must demonstrate knowledge of the English language as well as US history and civics. It is, therefore, a good idea to start studying very early for this test and exam, so you can feel confident that you will pass. Many communities offer citizenship classes that make it easier to hone the skills you need. You may also want to visit the USCIS website to learn more about the test so that you can pass it.
4) Take part in a citizenship ceremony. Once you have passed your naturalization test, you will be sent another notice about the naturalization ceremony. During the ceremony, you and other applicants will have to take an oath to the United States and you will be sworn in as an official US citizen.