For those who were not born U.S. citizens, becoming an American citizen will involve an intensive process, including interviews and testing, all of which can take some time (potentially years) to complete.
10 Steps to Becoming an American Citizen
According to USCIS, the steps to becoming a U.S. citizen include:
- Determining you are not already a citizen (via birth or naturalization)
- Determining you are eligible to become a citizen – Eligibility requirements include being at least 18, having been a permanent resident of the U.S. for at least 5 years, etc.
- Completing Form N-400, Application for Naturalization – With this step, people will also have to gather other items for submission, including supporting documentation, passport-sized photos, etc.
- Submitting Form N-400 – Upon submission, the filing fees will have to be paid. Here, it’s also important to note that people will be asked about the info on their Form N-400 during their immigration interview later.
- Attending the biometrics appointment – Although some people may be able to skip this step, for those who have to complete it, they will be required to submit fingerprints and undergo an FBI criminal background check.
- Attending the interview – Following this interview, the USCIS will send people a notice of their results (if a decision is not immediately granted after the interview).
- Receiving a decision from USCIS – The decision will be that someone either is or is not eligible for naturalization. If someone has been deemed to not be eligible, USCIS will explain why this decision was made and what that individual’s options are for appeal.
- Being notified to take the Oath of Allegiance – This can occur on the same day as the interview and decision if the decision to approve naturalization has been granted immediately following the interview.
- Taking the Oath of Allegiance to the U.S. – This Oath will be administered by a judge.
- Understanding your new rights as a U.S. citizen.
The estimated financial costs of becoming a U.S. citizen (based on the filing fees, biometrics fees, etc.) are just over $2,600. If, however, there are complications with an application, the costs can increase substantially.
Los Angeles Immigration Lawyer at the Hanlon Law Group, P.C.
Do you need help with any immigration issues? If so, you can rely on a trusted Los Angeles immigration lawyer at the Hanlon Law Group, P.C. For nearly two decades, our lawyers have been successfully representing clients in various types of immigration cases, ranging from basic immigration applications to more complicated federal court litigation.
To learn more about our citizenship, immigration and deportation defense services contact us today by calling (626) 684-3712 or (866) 227-5527 or by emailing us using the form at the upper right-hand side of the screen. From our office in Pasadena, we serve clients throughout the Los Angeles area, across the state of California and from around the world.
We offer free, confidential initial consultations to provide potential clients with expert advice regarding their immigration law needs. Additionally, we are able to provide immigration legal services in various languages, including in Spanish, Mandarin, Cantonese, Vietnamese, Korean, Japanese, Bahasa Indonesian, Tagalog and Fukienese.