Many green card holders in Maryland dream one day of becoming a naturalized citizen. There are certain steps that must be taken to make this dream come true. The following is a brief overview of the eight steps permanent residents need to take to become a U.S. citizen.
Step 1: Are you eligible to become a U.S. citizen?
There are certain eligibility requirements that must be satisfied to become a U.S. citizen. These include age requirements, residency requirements and English fluency requirements. You must also be of good moral character and register for the draft if necessary. You must be willing to support the U.S. constitution and pledge allegiance to the U.S.
Steps 2 and 3: The N-400 application
You must prepare and submit a form N-400 application for naturalization. You must also pay any necessary fees.
Step 4: The biometrics appointment
Some applicants will need to attend a biometrics appointment. If so, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will notify you about the date, time and place of this appointment.
Step 5: Attend your naturalization interview
Permanent residents wishing to become U.S. citizens will have to attend an interview with USCIS. The USCIS will send a notice to you given the date and time of your interview. Bring your appointment notice with you when you go to the interview.
Step 6: The USCIS’ decision
The USCIS will send you a notice of their decision on your N-400. Your N-400 may be granted, continued or denied.
Steps 7 and 8: The Oath of Allegiance
If your Form N-400 was approved, you can attend a naturalization ceremony, which will take place either on the same day as your interview or at a later date. You will need to fill out a Form N-445 and bring it with you to your naturalization ceremony for review. You will turn in your Green Card, take the Oath of Allegiance and receive your Certificate of Naturalization.
Know your rights
Becoming a U.S. citizen is a dream, and it is one that is obtainable for many. If you want to follow the path towards citizenship it is important that you understand what you need to do. By knowing your rights and options, you can make decisions that are in your best interests.