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How Do You Apply for Citizenship Through Naturalization?

 Posted on June 24, 2024 in naturalization & citizenship

Plano immigration lawyerBecoming a United States citizen through naturalization is a significant milestone for many immigrants. This process allows eligible individuals to fully participate in American civic life, including the right to vote and hold public office. In Texas, as in other states, the naturalization process follows federal guidelines with some specific considerations. A Texas lawyer can walk you through the key steps and requirements for applying for citizenship through naturalization.

The First Step Towards Becoming a Citizen Through Naturalization

The journey to citizenship begins with determining your eligibility. To apply for naturalization, you must meet several requirements:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • You need to have had a green card for at least five years (or three years if married to a U.S. citizen).
  • Demonstrate continuous residence and physical presence in the United States
  • Be able to read, write, and speak basic English
  • Have a good moral character
  • Demonstrate knowledge of U.S. history and government

Once you confirm your eligibility, you can proceed with the application process.

Preparing and Submitting Your Application

To proceed, you need to complete and submit Form N-400, Application for Naturalization. This form asks for detailed information about your background., including:

  • Personal information
  • Residential history
  • Employment history
  • Travel outside the United States
  • Marital history
  • Information about your children
  • Moral character questions

Accuracy is vital when filling out this form. Any discrepancies or omissions could delay your application or even lead to denial.

Along with your completed N-400, you must submit:

  • A copy of your permanent resident card
  • Required photographs
  • Application fee (unless you qualify for a fee waiver)
  • Biometrics Appointment and Background Check

After submitting your application, USCIS will schedule a biometrics appointment. They will collect your fingerprints, photograph, and signature at this appointment. These are used to conduct a thorough background check, which is a critical part of the naturalization process.

The Naturalization Interview and Civics Test

The naturalization interview is a significant milestone in your journey to citizenship. During this interview, a USCIS officer will review your N-400 application and ask questions about your background and eligibility. The next step is for the officer to administer the English language test and conduct the civics test.

The English test assesses your ability to read, write, and speak basic English. The civics test evaluates your knowledge of U.S. history and government. In Texas, as in other states, you must correctly answer 6 out of 10 questions to pass the civics portion.

Oath of Allegiance and Certificate of Naturalization

Once your application is approved, you must attend the oath ceremony. You will take the Oath of Allegiance to the United States during this ceremony. This solemn promise marks your official transition to U.S. citizenship. After taking the oath, you will receive your Certificate of Naturalization, officially documenting your status as a U.S. citizen.

Texas-Specific Considerations

While the naturalization process is governed by federal law, there are some Texas-specific aspects to consider:

  • USCIS Field Offices: Texas has multiple USCIS field offices where interviews are conducted, including locations in Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, and El Paso.
  • Selective Service Registration: Male applicants who lived in the U.S. between ages 18 and 26 must have registered for Selective Service to be eligible for naturalization.
  • State Benefits: Once naturalized, you may be eligible for additional state benefits in Texas, such as certain public assistance programs or educational opportunities.

A Plano, TX Immigration Lawyer Can Help You Through the Process

Going through all the legalities of the naturalization process can be intimidating and confusing at times for most people. With a Dallas, TX immigration attorney on your side, you can get through the steps with more ease. Call Law Office of Jae Lee at 214-295-3014 to start with your free consultation.

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