Experienced Family Law And Immigration Assistance In Dallas

How can immigrants become United States citizens?

On Behalf of | Jun 4, 2024 | Immigration and family law

Legally entering the United States often requires quite a bit of effort. Remaining in the country legally can be even more difficult. Visas eventually expire, forcing immigrants to adjust their status.

Immigrants can obtain green cards. They are then permanent lawful residents. They can potentially stay in the country indefinitely while working or raising a family here. Permanent residents are still at risk of removal for certain criminal offenses. They also need to consistently refile paperwork with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) every decade.

Becoming a citizen essentially ends the risk of removal from the country. Citizenship also extends new rights to an individual. They can help more family members legally enter the country, run for certain political offices and vote. What must an immigrant do to become a citizen of the United States?

File paperwork with the USCIS

The first step toward citizenship involves immigration paperwork. N-400 documents filed with the USCIS can begin the naturalization process. Immigrants need to meet certain standards to qualify for naturalization. They must pass background checks and remain in the United States long enough to qualify for citizenship. If they pass the early preliminary review process, immigrants then need to prepare for a naturalization interview.

Complete the interview and test process

If someone passes the initial screening, they have to schedule a naturalization interview with the USCIS. That interview may involve questions about an immigrant’s background and plans for the future. The interviewer also administers two tests. Immigrants must pass an English test that involves reading, writing, speaking and listening. They typically need to prove their proficiency with the English language.

They also have to pass a Civics test. The test consists of 10 questions from a list of 100. The immigrant must answer at least six of those questions correctly. The interviewer asks out loud which the immigrant answers verbally. Some immigrants may qualify for testing exemptions or support. Those who have been in the country for years could be exempt from English language test requirements. People with disabling medical conditions may qualify for certain accommodations.

Although people find the naturalization process intimidating, thousands of people successfully become citizens every year. Learning more about the naturalization process could help people who want to remain in the United States indefinitely.