Naturalization 2018-03-13T01:50:04+00:00

Naturalization/Citizenship

Naturalization is the process by which U.S. citizenship is granted to a foreign citizen or national after he or she fulfills the requirements established by Congress in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).

The following is the entitlement statute for Naturalization:

Immediately preceding the date of filing for naturalization the applicant has resided continuously, after being lawfully admitted for permanent residence within the United States for at least five years and during the five years immediately preceding the date of filing his or her application has been physically present therein for periods totaling at least half of that time, and who has resided within the State or within the district of the Immigration and Naturalization Service of the United States in which the applicant filed the application for at least three months,

  • Has resided continuously within the United States from the date of application up to the time of admission to citizenship and
  • During all the periods referred to in this subsection has been and still is a person of good moral character, attached to the principles of the Constitution of the United States, and well disposed to the good order and happiness of the United States. Absences from the U.S. during the statutory period are presumptive and can be overcome. For absences of 6 months or less, there is no break in continuous residence. An absence of more than 6 months but less than a year raises a rebuttable presumption of abandonment of continuous residency for naturalization purposes. The burden is on the alien to show that the continuous residence requirement has been met.

The USCIS website has a detailed guide to Naturalization including Naturalization eligibility requirements.

New Citizenship Test from October 1, 2008

USCIS will begin administering the redesigned (new) naturalization test on October 1, 2008. Use the chart below to determine if you will take the current or redesigned (new) test.

Date Form N-400 Filed* Date of Initial Exam Test to be Taken If Applicant Fails Initial Exam, Re-test to be Taken
Before October 1, 2008 Before October 1, 2008 Current Test Current Test
Before October 1, 2008 On or After October 1, 2008 up until October 1, 2009 Applicant’s Choice of -Current Test or -Redesigned (New) Test The same version of the test as the one taken during the initial examination
On or After October 1, 2008 On or After October 1, 2008 Redesigned (New) Test Redesigned (New) Test
At Any Time (i.e. Before, On or After October 1, 2008) On or After October 1, 2009 Redesigned (New) Test Redesigned (New) Test

Read the USCIS page for the naturalization test.

Citizenship Interview Questions

There are 100 civics questions on the naturalization test. During the naturalization interview, applicants will be asked up to 10 questions from the list of 100 questions in English. You must answer correctly 6 of the 10 questions to pass the civics test in English.  USCIS website has the study materials for the naturalization test.

On November 30, 2006, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Emilio Gonzalez said, “When you raise your hand and swear allegiance to the United States, you really ought to know what you are swearing allegiance to. You ought to internalize by that time, the very values that make this country what it is, the very reason why you are raising your right hand. …Citizenship is not test taking.”

Please recommend options for PR Status/Citizenship for our unborn Child while we are awaiting Naturalization 2018-03-02T23:45:07+00:00

Your questions are case specific and complex. We suggest you schedule an appointment to discuss your situation. Be this as it may, a child born to a U.S. Citizen is automatically accorded citizenship and your child will benefit by this automatic child citizenship provision. The Attorney recommends that you continue the process towards your naturalization while seeking deferral of the oath ceremony for your spouse.

When am I eligible to file for Naturalization? 2018-03-02T23:44:08+00:00

Your question pertains to Naturalization when married to a U.S. Citizen. In your case, although you have been married for three years, you have only been a permanent resident for less than two years. You would have to wait until 2 years and 9 months from the time you became a permanent resident to apply for Naturalization. This could be done while you are still waiting for the condition to be removed on your Permanent Resident status.

Does Prior §245(i) Filing Affect Naturalization Application? 2018-03-02T23:43:24+00:00

§214(i) is an ameliorative provision for adjustment of status. However, once adjusted, you are considered a permanent resident without any strings attached. The prior § 245(i) filing does not affect your ability to file a Naturalization application and it should not be called into question during the interview.

Returning from Work for Employer Abroad After 2 Years – Impact on Green Card/Naturalization 2018-03-02T23:42:34+00:00

Leaving the U.S. for over 6 months while you’re a permanent resident, raises the presumption that you have abandoned your status. You must file and obtain a “Re Entry Permit” prior to departure in order to be allowed to return without any issues. We also recommend that you consider filing an Application to preserve your residence for Naturalization purposes.

My mother cannot speak English and she is 56 years old. She has been an LPR for the last 3 years. How can she qualify for Citizenship? 2018-03-02T23:41:44+00:00

She must possess an elementary understanding of English to be eligible. However, The English language test is not applicable to: (1) persons who are over 50 and living in U.S. for 20 years subsequent to LPR status; or (2) persons who are over 55 years of age and living in U.S. for 15 years subsequent to LPR status.

I am married to an American citizen for 4yrs and have been a permanent Resident for last 3yrs. Two of which as a Conditional Resident. Am I eligible for Citizenship? 2018-03-02T23:40:53+00:00

You will have to wait until the condition is removed. However, the time spent in conditional status will be counted against the period of eligibility required to apply for naturalization.

Both my parents are citizens. Does that make me a citizen automatically? How do I bring my fiancé to the U.S.? 2018-03-02T23:40:00+00:00

You are eligible for derivative citizenship and should apply on Form N-600 with the nearest USCIS Field office, with the appropriate filing fees. If approved, you will be scheduled for a naturalization interview. As far as your fiancé, I recommend that you file after you obtain your citizenship. That way, you can bring him on a K-1 fiancé visa.

How long can a U.S. Citizen remain abroad without losing his or her citizenship? 2018-03-02T23:39:09+00:00

Unlike Permanent Residents, who have to worry about abandoning their residence in the United States, American Citizens have no restrictions on time spent abroad. She can stay there for as long as she wants.

What do I need to become a U.S. Citizen? 2018-03-02T23:38:20+00:00
The following is the entitlement statute for Naturalization:
  1. Immediately preceding the date of filing for naturalization the applicant has resided continuously, after being lawfully admitted for permanent residence within the United States for at least five years and during the five years immediately preceding the date of filing his or her application has been physically present therein for periods totaling at least half of that time, and who has resided within the State or within the district of the Immigration and Naturalization Service of the United States in which the applicant filed the application for at least three months,
  2. Has resided continuously within the United States from the date of application up to the time of admission to citizenship and
  3. During all the periods referred to in this subsection has been and still is a person of good moral character, attached to the principles of the Constitution of the United States, and well disposed to the good order and happiness of the United States. Absences from the U.S. during the statutory period are presumptive and can be overcome. For absences of 6 months or less, there is no break in continuous residence. An absence of more than 6 months but less than a year raises a rebuttable presumption of abandonment of continuous residency for naturalization purposes. The burden is on the alien to show that the continuous residence requirement has been met.
Does the 3 months in state residence rule for naturalization require physical presence? 2018-03-02T23:37:36+00:00

The residency requirement that you reference requires that the Applicant:

*Have lived within the state, or USCIS district with jurisdiction over the applicant’s place of residence, for at least 3 months prior to the date of filing the application*

As long as the Applicant can document proof of residence for at least 3 months prior to filing, he should satisfy the requirement.

What are typical questions asked during the citizenship test, and what are the correct answers? 2018-03-02T23:36:45+00:00

USCIS is said to have repeatedly used only material from these 100 questions to test applicants for naturalization. We make no representations in this regard. PLEASE USE THEM AT YOUR OWN RISK.

Download the questions [PDF format]

Citizenship

Dear Vaman and staff members, I finally became a U.S. citizen!
I’m writing to share my excitement as well as to express my gratitude. Thank you for your outstanding and professional services. With your advice and help, my journey of immigration has been an easy and smooth one. I really appreciate your efficiency, professionalism, and friendliness during the entire process. Please let me know if I can leave a review somewhere because I would highly recommend your services. Thank you again!

— Frank. R., E-mail