What is the Most Common Path for Citizenship in the U.S.?
The easiest way to become a United States citizen is to be born in the United States. The Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which was added just after the Civil War, declares that every person born in the United States has U.S. citizenship. If at least one of your parents is a U.S. citizen, they can apply for citizenship for you as soon as you are born, although the rules vary slightly according to whether the parents were married to each other at the time of the child’s birth and how recently the parents have resided in the United States. Everyone else who wishes to become a citizen of the United States must go through the process of naturalization. Hiring a lawyer is not a requirement for this process, but if you anticipate any complications, it is a good idea to work with a Whittier immigration services lawyer.
Once You Have a Green Card, You are Almost There
The most difficult step toward becoming a naturalized U.S. citizen is getting permanent residency. In other words, the fact that you already have a permanent green card means that you are almost there. There are many different ways to get permanent residency. Some people get their green cards through sponsorship by their employers or by the U.S. Armed Forces. Others have been sponsored by their spouse or another family member, and still others entered the United States as asylum seekers and became eligible for permanent residency after a certain period of time.
After you have had your green card for a certain period of time, you are eligible to apply for naturalization. In most cases, you are eligible to apply for citizenship five years after receiving your permanent green card. After you submit your application for naturalization, USCIS will schedule a citizenship interview; upon successful completion of the interview, you will receive an appointment for your naturalization ceremony.
What to Expect at Your Citizenship Interview
At your citizenship interview, you must read out loud three sentences in English and write three sentences in English based on dictation. Your English does not have to be perfect; you only have to get one reading sentence and one writing sentence correct. If you are not confident in your written English abilities, you should continue studying English until your citizenship interview.
You must also correctly answer six questions out of ten about the history and government of the United States. USCIS provides study materials free of charge for this civics portion of the citizenship interview. You should start reviewing the study materials as soon as you submit your citizenship application, since there are hundreds of possible questions the interviewer could ask.
Contact the Law Offices of Omar Gastelum About Immigration Cases
An immigration services lawyer can help you with the immigration process from visa applications to naturalization. Contact the Law Offices of Omar Gastelum and Associates APLC in Whittier, California to set up a consultation.