In 2019, 843,593 people became naturalized as citizens of the United States. All over the world, people desire to have U.S. citizenship. So, if you think you qualify for citizenship and want to know how the process works, you came to the right place. Read on to learn how to become a citizen of the United States.
- Are You a U.S. Citizen Already?
If you want to become a U.S. citizen, the first thing you need to do is find out if you already are one. You qualify for U.S. citizenship if one or two of your parents are citizens.
However, if none of your parents are citizens of the United States, you will have to go the immigration route to become one. The only path to citizenship of the United States aside from birth and citizen parents is becoming a legal permanent resident.
You can qualify for a green card through various outlets, such as family, employment, special immigrant, asylum, and more. If you have children, read about how to obtain a green card for kids.
- Establish Residence in the United States
Once you are a legal permanent resident, you need to hold your residence for five years before becoming a U.S. citizen. However, you can become a citizen in three years if a U.S. citizen spouse sponsored you.
You must also maintain physical residence in the United States half of the time. This means you need to live in the United States for 2.5 years or 1.5 years, depending on eligibility.
- Good Moral Character
To qualify for U.S. citizenship, you also need to prove your good moral character. For example, if you committed murder or acts of terrorism against the nation, it will automatically ban you from becoming a citizen.
Other acts that might put your moral character in question include not paying taxes, prostitution, polygamy, etc.
You will be required to disclose your criminal record, if any.
- Civics Test
On your path to citizenship, you must also take a civics test. The test will consist of your knowledge of U.S. history, government, and the English language.
During your test, an immigration officer will ask you 20 of 180 study questions in English. In addition, you must answer 12 out of the 20 citizenship test questions correctly to pass.
- Accept the Constitution and Take an Oath of Allegiance
If you pass your test and everything goes well during the interview, the next step is to accept the United States constitution. This means you will accept the constitution as your own and denounce other governments.
Once you accept the constitution, you will take an oath of allegiance to the United States. The process will take place during a public ceremony.
After the ceremony, you will receive your certificate of naturalization, which will signal you’re officially a citizen of the United States.
Now You Know How to Become a Citizen
Now that you know how to become a citizen of the United States, you’re ready to start the process.
To become a citizen, you must be a permanent resident for five years, prove good moral character, pass the civics test, and take the oath of allegiance.
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