For many non US citizens, staying in America and becoming a citizen of US is a lifelong dream. Unfortunately, so many people experience frustration and disappointment when trying to obtain the US citizenship. The citizenship guidelines are so strict that one has to strive hard to overcome the the hurdles to gain US citizenship. Generally the journey begins without knowing the actual process. Let us see a few tips on how to apply for citizenship and attaining the same.
In general, the US citizenship can be obtained in two ways – through birth and through naturalization. Through birth refers to the people born to US parents or born in the US. Through naturalization refers to the people who have permanent resident status in the US and who can apply for citizenship based on their eligibility. To apply for US citizenship, Form N 400 is filed and this is available from the U. S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) local office or can be printed form the website. After meeting the eligibility criteria,one can file Form N 400. The required information has to be entered and the completed application should be sent to the USCIS along with the required supporting documents and fees. Any falsified information will lead to rejection of the application.
Once the application is accepted, a notice will be sent tot he applicant with notification of the fingerprints and biometrics appointment which kick starts the journey toward official citizenship. Basically, the biometrics are done to prove the identity of the person and to check for criminal records if any. All the required evidence should be brought during the time of the interview to provide enough proof and to speed the process.
A good knowledge of English is very essential which will help while taking up the English test and which is mandatory for obtaining citizenship. The ability to read, write and speak English will be tested along with the applicant’s knowledge of US history and civics during the interview process. During the interview process being truthful and honest will definitely push you to the next level in the process of obtaining the US citizenship. After the successful completion of the citizenship test and interview comes the oath of allegiance. This refers to the original ceremony to mark the occasion of getting the citizenship and will be notified through an invitation . The US citizenship certificate will be issued at the ceremony. In case of denial, you will not receive any invitation which means that the case is in pending due to some reason in which case you can appeal again.
Normally it takes approximately 5 months for the whole process to complete. As there is a substantial increase in the number of applications filed, the processing time keeps changing. Non US citizens from every part of the world aspire to become citizens of the US.
The citizenship applications coming to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) clearly confirms this tendency of non-Americans. However, not many are successful in obtaining the US citizenship due to tough documentation policies and strict approval process.