If you have lived in Pennsylvania on a green card for several years and intend to stay in the United States, pursuing the path toward becoming a U.S. citizen is probably on your mind. Becoming a naturalized citizen has a specific process that all applicants should follow.
Determining eligibility for U.S. citizenship
The first step in naturalization is to determine whether you meet the criteria. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, or USCIS, has a worksheet that you can fill out to determine your eligibility. In some cases, you may not yet be eligible because you haven’t resided in the United States long enough to apply, but you may be eligible in the future.
Once you have determined your eligibility, you can fill out Form N-400, pay the associated fee and submit it to the U.S. government. The application may also require you to have a biometrics appointment, which simply involves taking a photo and taking your fingerprints. Once you have completed these preliminary steps, the USCIS will schedule an interview that you must attend. Afterward, the USCIS will notify you of its decision and give you a date to take the Oath of Allegiance if applicable.
Getting through the process
Even though you may be fluent in English, getting through the immigration process can be confusing. Consider getting help when filling out the forms so that you don’t make mistakes that will cause your application to be delayed or denied. Understanding what the interview process involves is another consideration.
Once your application has been approved, you must still pass a test that measures your knowledge of basic U.S. government functions. Make sure that you have studied and practiced for the test to be comfortable answering the questions to achieve your goal of becoming a U.S. citizen.