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Understanding the naturalization process

On Behalf of | Jun 27, 2023 | Immigration

If a person who is not from the United States would like to become a citizen, they must go through the naturalization process.

Naturalization overview

Once a person becomes a naturalized U.S. citizen, they will have the same rights and responsibilities as a person who is born in the United States. They can fully participate in their new community, including having the right to vote, accessing government benefits and services and sponsoring family members for immigration.

Immigrants must meet several eligibility requirements before they can become a citizen. The applicant must be at least 18 years old at the time they file a naturalization application. They must also be a lawful permanent resident, meaning they hold a green card.

The applicant must have lived in the United States for at least five years before filing the application and be physically present in the country at the time of filing. Applicants must also have a basic knowledge of the English language, which includes reading, writing and speaking skills. They are required to pass a civics exam which will test them on U.S. government and have good moral character.


The person seeking naturalization must apply with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This will include personal details and supporting documentation. In addition, they will attend a biometrics appointment where their fingerprints and photos are taken, as well as agree to a background check.

They will attend an interview with USCIS and if that is successful, they will take an Oath of Allegiance to the United States and become a naturalized citizen.