In order to apply for citizenship, also known as naturalization, an applicant must meet all stringent requirements through the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
In order to apply for citizenship, an applicant must be a lawful permanent resident of the United States, or in other words, a green card holder through employment or political asylum. An applicant must be 18 years old or older and must physically be in the United States for at least two-and-a-half years of the past five years and not be absent from the U.S. for a year. Any absences more than six months indicate that an applicant may have abandoned his or her permanent residency.
An applicant must be of good moral character and understand basic written and spoken U.S. English. The requirement of good moral character means those who are not convicted felons. Convicted felons do no not obtain citizenship or have the right to vote.
The application process varies in length because there are time consuming fingerprinting and background checks that can take several months or even years. However, usually the process times takes nine to 12 months for a final decision. The oath of ceremony is scheduled thereafter.
The benefits for becoming a naturalized American citizen include the right to vote, the ability to obtain visas for immediate relatives, and the ability to hold public offices except for the vice presidency or presidency. Being a naturalized American citizen can also be extended to children.
It is also required for applicants to take a history and civic exams. They can be taken either written or orally and consist of hundred possible questions that range from understanding general U.S. history to naming government officials. There are certain exemptions and exceptions to taking the exam, all of which require forms and documentation.
“Applying for citizenship can be daunting and often confusing,” said Attorney Annie Banerjee, a Houston based immigration lawyer. “Therefore, one should seek legal advice when determining what avenue to take. Requirements sometimes change, therefore a qualified immigration attorney can advise you of the process, fees and requirements.”
To learn more, visit https://www.visatous.com.