Steps to Becoming a U.S. Citizen

Follow the Steps for Green Card Holders to Seek Naturalization in the United States

The process for obtaining U.S. citizenship is complicated, but it is important for immigrants to understand that it may be possible to become a citizen through the naturalization process. Whether you are currently applying for permanent residency and want to plan ahead for the naturalization process, or you are a green card holder and you need more information about becoming a U.S. citizen, one of our Tennessee immigration attorneys can assist you. There are a number of steps to naturalization, according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), and the advocates at Ozment Law, PLC can help you at each stage of the process. The following are the steps a person should take in order to become a U.S. citizen.

Determine Your Current Citizenship Status and Whether You are Eligible to Apply for Naturalization

The first step toward naturalization involves determining your current citizenship status and whether you are eligible to apply for naturalization. You should begin by ensuring that you are not already a U.S. citizen, which means you were not born in the U.S. and you did not previously acquire U.S. citizenship. If you are not a U.S. citizen, you will then need to determine if you are eligible to seek U.S. citizenship. Once you determine that you are eligible, you will need to go through several additional steps.

Prepare and Submit Your Form N-400, Application for Naturalization

If you are eligible to obtain U.S. citizenship, you will need to prepare and submit your Form N-400, which is also known as the Application for Naturalization. When you submit the Form N-400, you will also have to pay necessary government filing fees. In total, you should anticipate paying $725 in filing fees (the government does periodically change the filing fees). You will then need to go to a biometrics appointment, and you should expect to receive an appointment notice with the date, time, and location from USCIS.

Go to Your Interview With USCIS

Next, after the USCIS preliminarily reviews the case, you should expect that USCIS will schedule an interview with you, for which you will receive an appointment notice with the date and time. You will need to attend the interview. Once you attend the interview, you must take an English test and a civics test, and you must pass them for your application to be granted. Some long-time permanent residents are exempt from the English test and are given a simpler version of the civics test. Applicants are typically given two opportunities to pass the test, if they must take it. Before the interview, our attorneys in Nashville prepare our clients for their interview.

Receive the USCIS Decision About Your Naturalization Application

After you have attended the interview with USCIS, you will receive a notice of decision in the mail or electronically, depending upon how you submitted your Form N-400. Your notice of decision will be one of the following: granted (you can become a U.S. citizen), continued (you will need to provide additional information, make corrections to your application, or pass the required tests), or denied (your application to become a U.S. citizen has been denied). If your Form N-400 is approved, you will receive an appointment notice from USCIS to attend a naturalization ceremony and to the Oath of Allegiance. Taking the Oath of Allegiance and becoming a U.S. citizen will require some additional steps, including completing the questionnaire on a Form N-445, Notice of Naturalization Oath Ceremony and turning in your Green Card.

Contact a Tennessee Immigration Attorney for Assistance

If you have questions about the naturalization process or need assistance seeking U.S. citizenship, one of the Tennessee immigration lawyers at our firm can help. Contact Ozment Law, PLC today.