Millions of people from across the globe are interested in moving to the United States – and for good reason. Not only does the United States offer a unique set of opportunities and high standards of living, but it is also quite easy to build and maintain a strong network that will help you for a lifetime.
With that said, entering the United States the wrong way or overstaying your visa can have serious consequences.
That’s exactly why we’ve created a checklist to help you understand how you can immigrate to the United States legally and increase your chances of living a successful life.
How to Begin the Naturalization Process
In case you weren’t yet aware, the legal process to become a US citizen is known as obtaining citizenship through naturalization. With that said, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services agency requires applicants to meet six major requirements if they are interested in obtaining citizenship.
Here are the basic requirements to become a US citizen:
- You must be at least 18 years old
- You must reside in the United States for a minimum of five consecutive years (this number is reduced to three years if applicants have received their green card through a spouse who is a US citizen)
- Show proof of presence in the United States for a minimum of 30 months during the last half a decade before applying for naturalization (this number is reduced to 18 months if you are married to a US citizen)
- Prove that you have good moral character. You could do this by showing a clean criminal record for the previous half of a decade and refrain from resorting to misinformation to improve your chances of naturalization.
- Have a minimum of basic or beginner level English language skills that will allow you to read, write, and understand simple texts, and hold a basic conversation without struggling.
- Show the willingness to defend and support the United States and the constitution of the United States.
As long as you meet the six requirements mentioned above and have not committed any aggravated felonies, it will be possible for you to apply for naturalization without any problems.
What Does the Naturalization Process Entail?
Whether or not you’ve already begun your naturalization process, if you’re interested in immigrating to the United States the legal way, you’re probably already aware of the interview that is conducted before the decision is finalized.
Once you’ve submitted all of your documentation, you will be called in for an interview. While you may have heard extremely contradictory stories from previous applicants, it’s important to note that there’s nothing you’ll have to worry about as long as all of your paperwork is in order and you haven’t lied about any important details at any point in the process.
While the officer may grill you a tad bit extra if they see any discrepancies, it’s important to remain calm and answer all questions as honestly and articulately as you can. As you might have guessed, the officers really do their homework beforehand, which is why it’s important to remain true to the information that you’ve provided.
Based on your answers, you may receive approval or be asked to wait a few days for a response. In some cases, the officer might even ask for extra information or documentation.
Now that you know how the process works, you should start getting your documents in order to start your journey towards becoming a US citizen.