Foreign born residents living in the U.S. for at least five years have an opportunity to apply to become a naturalized U.S. citizen. Naturalization applications are handled by the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services, also known as the USCIS. U.S. citizenship status will give you with certain rights:
* The right to vote in U.S. Elections
* The right to take part in federal programs (e.g. Social Security)
* The right to secure a U.S. passport
* The right to earn certain security clearances
1. You must gain admittance to the U.S. as a legally permanent resident.
What this means is that you’ll need to obtain “green card” status. There is one exception: if an applicant has served time in the U.S. military (army, navy air force, marines) during a period of active war, he can obtain naturalization status without taking the usual steps required to become a permanent citizen, as long as he lived in the U.S. prior to joining the military.
2. You must live in the U.S. continuously for Five Years After Filing for Naturalization
Once an applicant has filed for naturalization, he is expected to establish and maintain continuous residency.
3. Establish Actual Residency
When you file your naturalization petition in your state, you will need to have lived in that state prior to filing for at least three months.
4. Acquire a Basic Knowledge of U.S. Government and History
When filing a form N-400 application for naturalization, you can request study materials to help you learn what you need to know about the English language, U.S. government and history. This information will help you with the naturalization test. The test involves a Naturalization Self Test section and a section for the comprehensive Naturalization test.
5. You Must Exemplify Moral Character and an Understanding of the U.S. Constitution
6. You Must Be at Least 18 Years of Age
To qualify for naturalization, you must be at least 18 years of age at the time that you file. Exceptions are allowed for the children of permanent residents.
When your application is approved, applicants are asked to take a formal oath of allegiance to the United States rejecting allegiance to other parties and states.