The Road to US Citizenship
If ever there was an optimal way to become a citizen, this is it. Citizenship is a very attainable goal for many people, but like any other course of action in life, there are some best practices that must be followed. If you follow these guidelines, you can cut down on the total amount of time it will take to become a citizen and the stress involved in the process.
There are many ways to immigrate to the United States, but there are two pathways which are by far the most popular.
Immigrating through family relations can be relatively easy as long as you have a close relative who is already a citizen or permanent resident of the United States. However, there are some situations where immigrants will have to wait decades for their priority numbers to come up.
Another incredibly popular pathway to immigration is through employment. In order to immigrate based on a job you must have this employer sponsor your entry to the United States.
For those foreign nationals who do not have the option to take advantage of any of the other pathways to immigration, they can always apply for the Green Card Lottery, which has very few requirements. Really all you have to do is sign up!
Maintaining Your Green Card
If you want to become a citizen, you will need to make sure that your Green Card is up to date and well taken care of for the entire duration of your residency in the United States.
If your Green Card gets lost, stolen, damaged or otherwise is unsuitable for use you can apply for a Green Card replacement.
Green Cards usually last about ten years, at the end of that period, you will need to have it renewed. Conditional Green Cards have to be turned into full Green Cards at the end of two years.
Applying for Citizenship
Check out the citizenship requirements to see if you are ready to apply for citizenship yet. Some of the requirements include residency length, document requirements, continuous residency, language abilities and knowledge of US government and history.
When you’re sure that you are eligible for citizenship in the United States you can then fill out Form N-400, the USCIS’ form for naturalization for an adult in the United States.
Becoming a Citizen
The final steps in becoming a citizen involve taking two tests. One will be to examine your proficiency in the English language and the other will evaluate your knowledge of history and government of the United States.
The very last step in the citizenship process is taking the oath. This oath is a ceremonial event and many people choose to take it on special days like government holidays and such.