If you’re not a U.S. citizen by birth or you didn’t acquire citizenship through your parents, you may be eligible for U.S. citizenship. In order to qualify, you must:
- Be at least 18 years old
- Be a permanent resident of the U.S. for longer than the past 3 years
- Have not been outside the U.S. for 30 months or more out of the past 5 years
- Have not taken a yearlong trip outside the U.S.
- Reside in the district or state in which you’re applying for naturalization for at least the past 3 months
- Be able to read, write and speak basic English
- Know the fundamentals of U.S. history, as well as the form and principles of the U.S. government
- Be a person of good moral character
- Register with the Selective Service if applicable
- Have never deserted from the U.S. Armed Forces, or received an exemption or discharge on the grounds that you are an alien
- Be willing to perform military or civilian service for the U.S. if required by law
- Agree to support the U.S. Constitution
- Be willing to take an oath of allegiance to the U.S.
But how do you apply for naturalization if you do qualify? Here’s a quick guide.
How to Apply for U.S. Naturalization if You Qualify
For most people, it makes sense to work with a Milwaukee Wisconsin immigration attorney who understands your needs. Your lawyer can prepare your Form N-400, Application for Naturalization, and submit it to the appropriate agency. From there, you may need to go to a biometrics appointment.
Finally, you’ll have to complete your interview to complete the naturalization process. From there, USCIS will issue its decision, which will be:
- Granted. In this case, you are eligible for naturalization.
- Continued. In this case, the USCIS can continue your application if you need to provide more documentation, or if you fail the English or civics test the first time.
- Denied. In this case, you are not eligible for naturalization.
If your application is granted, you’ll receive a notice to take the Oath of Allegiance to the U.S. Once you take it, you’ll officially become a U.S. citizen.
Do You Need to Talk to a Lawyer About Naturalization?
Working with a lawyer when you qualify for naturalization can make the process easier for you – your immigration attorney will handle the paperwork, which can be complicated and confusing.