Switch to ADA Accessible Theme
Close Menu
Home > Blog > Immigration > Steps To Becoming A US Citizen

Steps To Becoming A US Citizen


For many immigrants, the ultimate goal is to become a United States citizen. But the path to citizenship can be long and confusing. Here are some basic steps to help you understand the process towards becoming a full United States citizen.

Basic Requirements

To be a U.S. Citizen, you must first hold a green card (sometimes referred to as a lawful permanent resident). There is also a residency requirement—you must have been in the United States for five years, but that time period can be lowered to three years if you are married to a United States citizen. You also have to be over the age of 18.

Wherever in the United States that you live, you must have lived there consistently for at least three months (this refers to the state or district, not your actual address).

Background Checks and Interviews

Once you meet these basic parameters, you will move on to completing an N-400 application to apply for your citizenship. You will be subject to a basic background check, which will ensure that you are of “good moral character.” Although this is a complex definition, generally, with a clean criminal record, or at least minor infractions only, you should be OK.

You will be fingerprinted and be subject to a biometrics exam and test. If immigration needs additional information from you, you will receive a letter with their request.

After this it will be time for your live interview. The interviewer will allow you to explain anything of concern which may have come up in your background check, and you will be asked basic questions about the documents you submitted. You will be asked whether you are willing to take the oath of citizenship.

Be prepared to bring documents to the interview, verifying your residency, proof of marriage to any US citizen, proof of disability, and documentation of anything else relevant to your application. Any documents that are in a foreign language may have to be translated before being provided to immigration officials.

The Test

You then will take a citizenship test, which consists of reading, writing, and basic American civics. You can expect to be asked questions about how the government works, and our taxation system. Sometimes, parts of these tests can be waived. The government provides a question bank, from which the questions on the test are pulled from. All you need is to get 60% of the questions correct to pass the exam. People with medical conditions may be able to exempt themselves from the test, with appropriate medical documentation of hardship or disability.

Lastly is your naturalization ceremony. The bad news is you will have to surrender your green card. The good news is that you will be trading it in for your Certificate of Naturalization.

Contact the Miami immigration attorneys at Velasquez & Associates P.A. today for help with your immigration problems.



Facebook Twitter LinkedIn