Naturalization is the process of becoming a citizen of the U.S. for someone who is neither born in the United States nor is qualified as a derivative citizen. Naturalization is when a foreign-born person goes through the steps required by the U.S. Government to become a U.S. Citizen. There is confusion sometimes as to the terminology.
As the application is named Application for Naturalization, so people who are seeking to become U.S. Citizens are sometimes confused. The process is citizenship through naturalization.
Therefore even though one is attempting to attain citizenship, they are seeking to naturalize. Naturalization is the most common citizenship process, as those who are born in the United States do not have to apply for their citizenship.
N-400 Naturalization Application
The N-400 is the application used by those who wish to naturalize in the United States. The application can be found on the USCIS website (the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services).
The application asks for routine information about the applicant such as the basic information as well as background and immigration history. The N-400 application cost $595.00 plus $80.00 for biometrics (government fingerprinting), so a total of $675.00.
Naturalization has a few requirements that may seem simple yet are far from being that basic. Certain aspects of the most minute details on the most basic of requirements have deterred some from attaining their citizenship in the naturalization process. Here are the basic requirements of Naturalization:
- Applicant must be lawfully admitted for permanent residence (INA §318)
- Applicant must be at least 18 years old at the time of filing of the application (INA §334(b))
- Applicant must satisfy residency requirements:
- Continuous Residence: 5 years is required with not more than 6 months spent outside the U.S. at one time.
- Physical Presence: Physically present in the United States for more than half of the 5-year requirement. 30 Months.*
- Residence in state or district: Applicant must reside in a state or USCIS district for 3 months prior to filing the application.
- Applicant must be of Good Moral Character (INA §§316(a), 101(f)) (Please refer to statute for list of activities).
Complications Associated with Naturalization
While the application process may seem simple for some, there can be complications associated with applying for Naturalization. Applying without the ability to read, speak, and write can cause a denial of your n-400 application. Prior criminal convictions can not only cause a denial of your n-400 application but can also trigger removal proceedings if they are serious enough in nature.
As well, any other misinformation in the n-400 application process can complicate your chances often jeopardizing your chances of acquiring citizenship or delaying the whole process.
Recommendations for Applying for Naturalization
The most important step in the naturalization process is the initial steps in determining if your eligible and preparing your information for the n-400 application.
We highly recommend that anyone who is thinking of applying for citizenship through the naturalization process, hire an experienced citizenship and immigration lawyer. Or if you can not afford one, at the very least, you should consult with an immigration lawyer to determine if you are eligible for citizenship.
This will not only reduce the chances of any complications but save you the possibility of submitting an application and losing the $675.00 spent on it. If you take your citizenship seriously, you should invest in it and make sure it’s done properly.
USAcitizenships.com provides affordable naturalization services that include consultation and assistance with your N-400 application. For more information about applying for naturalization with one of our immigration attorneys, please contact us today and schedule a consultation.