Some lawful permanent residents in Texas want to become naturalized U.S. citizens so that they can fully embrace their adopted country. The process by which permanent residents can become U.S. citizens is called naturalization. Before people can become naturalized U.S. citizens, they must meet the eligibility requirements, apply for naturalization, take several tests and complete other requirements of the process.
Eligibility for naturalization
Before applying for naturalization, people should make sure that they meet the following eligibility requirements:
• Be 18 or older
• Have held a green card for at least five years
• Have been physically present in the U.S. for 30 or more months during the last five years
• Have lived in the state where the application will be filed for at least three months
• Have the ability to read, communicate and write in English
• Have a demonstrable belief and fealty to the principles of the U.S. Constitution
• Have a good moral character
People who meet these eligibility requirements can apply to become naturalized U.S. citizens. However, they should be prepared for the tests, the interview and the other steps required during the process.
The naturalization process
The naturalization process begins by completing and submitting the application for naturalization together with the required supporting documents. Applicants may be required to submit fingerprints during a biometric appointment. If the applications are complete, the U.S. Customs and Immigration Services will schedule an interview. At the interview, people will need to take the civics and English exams if they are not exempt. An immigration official will also meet with the applicants and ask them questions about their applications. If applicants pass the tests and the interview, they will receive written notices of the decision. They will then be able to attend a naturalization ceremony and take the oath of allegiance to become naturalized U.S. citizens.
The process of becoming a naturalized U.S. citizen is not easy; if people make mistakes on their applications or fail to submit the right types of supporting documents, their applications may be denied. Working with an experienced immigration attorney might help people to successfully navigate the naturalization process to become U.S. citizens.