Living in the United States as a lawful permanent resident has many benefits. For the most part, you enjoy many of the same rights and protections that citizens do. However, there are limitations to those rights.
You cannot vote or hold public office. Also, you will still have a passport from your country of origin and could be subject to deportation in certain circumstances. Still, permanent residency is an important step in the process that can result in your securing citizenship despite coming from another country.
Naturalization is the process by which a foreign national becomes a United States citizen. Are you currently ready to begin the process of going from a permanent residence to a full-fledged citizen?
Have you been in the United States for long enough?
The naturalization process is only available to those who have been in the United States for a significant amount of time as a lawful permanent resident. Typically, people must have had a Green Card for five years to apply for naturalization.
They also need to have stayed in the United States for 30 months out of the last five years in order to qualify for naturalization. Additionally, applicants usually need to be 18 years old and to have lived in the same state for three months prior to their application.
Do you believe you could pass certain necessary tests?
Part of the naturalization process will involve showing that you have the knowledge and understanding to fulfill your duties as a United States citizen. As such, you will have to complete a test that shows you understand the English language and another test that covers history and government topics, also known as a civics test. While the thought of taking a test to establish your citizenship may seem frightening, there are many preparatory tools available for those who want to naturalize.
What other steps are part of the naturalization process?
In addition to qualifying based on your residency and passing a test, you will also need to submit documentation to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and submit to biometric screening. That could mean taking your fingerprints and other personal identifiers at an appointment set for you by the USCIS.
Provided that you complete all of these steps and an interview, you could eventually become a naturalized United States citizen.