Naturalization "The things that the flag stands for were created by the experiences of a great people. Everything that it stands for was written by their lives. The flag is the embodiment, not of sentiment, but of history."
These words were written by Woodrow Wilson, the 28th President of the United States, and they reflect on the spirit of this great nation. Becoming a U.S. citizen will be one of the most important days in your life. It will culminate in a ceremony that will signify the end of the long immigration road and a new beginning to the privilege of living as a naturalized U.S. citizen. Naturalization Overview
There are many reasons to become a U.S. citizen. The most important is the ability to vote in America. With rare exceptions, only citizens of this country can vote in our democratic process. Other benefits of becoming a U.S. citizen include:
Applicants must be at least 18 years old unless the person honorably served in the military during designated periods of armed conflict or is a minor with at least one U.S. citizen parent. Residency
An applicant must have been lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence. Lawfully admitted for permanent residence means having been legally accorded the privilege of residing permanently in the United States as an immigrant in accordance with the immigration laws. Residence and Physical Presence
An applicant is eligible to file if, immediately preceding the filing of the application, he or she:
Generally, an applicant must show that he or she has been a person of good moral character for the statutory period (typically five years or three years if married to a U.S. citizen) prior to filing for naturalization. USCIS is not limited to the statutory period in determining whether an applicant has established good moral character. An applicant is permanently barred from naturalization if he or she has ever been convicted of murder. An applicant is also permanently barred from naturalization if he or she has been convicted of an aggravated felony as defined in section 101(a)(43) of the Act on or after November 29, 1990. A person also may not be found to be a person of good moral character if during the last five years he or she:
An applicant must show that he or she is attached to the principles of the Constitution of the United States. Language
Applicants for naturalization must be able to read, write, speak, and understand words in ordinary usage in the English language. Applicants exempt from this requirement are those who on the date of filing:
An applicant for naturalization must demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of the fundamentals of the history and of the principles and form of government of the United States. Applicants exempt from this requirement are those who, on the date of filing, have a medically determinable physical or mental impairment, where the impairment affects the applicant¹s ability to learn U.S. History and Government.
Applicants who have been residing in the U.S. subsequent to a lawful admission for permanent residence for at least 20 years and are over the age of 65 will be afforded special consideration in satisfying this requirement. Examples of typical U.S. civics and history questions include:
Men in the U.S. between ages 18 to 25 years must show that they have registered for Selective Service, or if they have not, that failure to do so was not willful. Oath of Allegiance
To become a citizen, one must take the oath of allegiance. By doing so, an applicant swears to:
These are the requirements to become a U.S. citizen. Remember, it is a privilege, not a right, to become a U.S. citizen. Therefore, USCIS is very stringent is adhering to these requirements. The 40th President of the United States, Ronald Reagan once said that "Freedom is the deepest and noblest aspiration of the human sprit." Becoming a U.S. citizen is the greatest way to enjoy these freedoms.
Nothing on this site should be construed as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is general content only, and should
not be relied upon for any specific information. For specific legal advice consult an experienced immigration attorney.
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