Becoming a United States citizen is a challenge. It can be difficult for people to gain entry to the United States lawfully. Typically, visas only last for a few years. Those who want to remain in the United States generally need to apply to become permanent residents. Even then, they are still at risk of removal from the country if they break the law or make mistakes with their paperwork.
Transitioning from a lawful permanent resident to a citizen is one of the best ways to eliminate removal risk and the need to continually file paperwork with the government. Naturalization is the legal process individuals must undergo to become a citizen.
The process requires paperwork and testing
Someone hoping to become a citizen must meet certain standards. They need to pass a thorough background check. They must submit paperwork to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). They will also need to attend an interview, and they will need to pass two tests during that interview.
The USCIS employee performing the interview will administer two tests which are primarily oral. Individuals have to show an understanding of Civics and the English language. The Civics test involves verbal questions and answers. The person taking the test must answer six out of ten questions accurately. The USCIS does provide a list of 100 questions that could be on the test.
The English test requires someone to read and write in English. They will also need to speak in English and demonstrate listening comprehension during conversations. Certain applicants, including those with disabling medical conditions and those who have been in the country for multiple years and are over a certain age, may qualify for exemptions. They may either receive special support during the testing process or permission to forgo the English language test.
Applicants often need help preparing for the tests and getting their paperwork ready. Successful naturalization allows someone to vote and can help them assist loved ones who want to live in the United States. The benefits of successfully navigating this process typically make the effort required worthwhile.