Understanding the U.S. Naturalization Process from Start to Finish

Do you hope to live and work in the United States? If so, you are probably researching the U.S. naturalization process and how you can become eligible for U.S. naturalization.

In this article, we’ll help answer some common questions when it comes to naturalization, such as, “What is Naturalization?” and “How much does U.S. naturalization cost?”. Keep reading if you’re looking to understand this process and how you can continue on your journey to permanently living and working in the United States.


What Is Naturalization?

Before you can begin the naturalization process, you will first need to know what is naturalization. Essentially, naturalization is how a foreign national becomes a full U.S. citizen with all the rights and responsibilities associated with it. Becoming a U.S. citizen has many advantages but can also have some disadvantages. Advantages of becoming an American citizen include:

  • You can travel easier as many international countries allow access to U.S. citizens without applying for a visa.
  • You can’t be deported to your former country of citizenship.
  • You can obtain federal benefits available to only U.S. citizens.
  • You can apply for green cards for certain relatives.
  • Your children can automatically become U.S. citizens.
  • You can vote in any U.S. election.
  • You can run for elected office.

One of the most significant disadvantages of becoming a U.S. citizen is dual taxation. The U.S. imposes taxes on its citizens for income earned anywhere in the world. If you decide to live and work back in your home country, you may be liable for taxes in both your country of residence as well as the United States. Still, the many benefits of being a full U.S. citizen may outweigh the disadvantages, so be sure to weigh up your options when considering the naturalization process.


The U.S. Naturalization Process

To submit your U.S. naturalization application, you must have already obtained your green card (unless you are applying based on military service). Once you have that green card for three to five years (depending on your type of green card), you will have to meet a few other requirements such as:

  • You must have been a resident of the state where you plan to apply from for at least three months.
  • You must have a “good moral character”.
  • You must pass a S. naturalization test. This includes an English language test and a civics test concerning U.S. history and government.
  • You must be at least 18 years old.
  • You must register with the selective service if you are male and between 18 and 25.

If you meet these requirements, you can begin your U.S. naturalization application with Form N-400. Once this has been filed, and you have paid any fees, you will need to schedule an appointment to take your biometrics. Once this has been completed, you will have an interview with your local United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) field office. Your interview will also consist of an English language exam and a civics test to assess your knowledge of the U.S. government. If you pass these exams, the USCIS office will approve your application, and you will then need to attend an Oath of Allegiance ceremony. At this ceremony, you will return your green card, receive a Naturalization Certificate, and start your life as a U.S. citizen!


If you still have any questions or concerns about the U.S. immigration system, it’s best to speak to an experienced immigration attorney. At Dominguez Law Firm, PLLC, we are dedicated to serving the immigrant community and we firmly believe that no one should navigate the process alone. Contact us today to discuss your specific immigration concerns!