If an individual was born outside of the United States and would like to become a U.S. citizen, there are certain steps he or she can take. This is called naturalization and there is helpful information available about the application process.
First, applicants must ensure that they meet all eligibility requirements. Naturalization only applies to individuals who are not U.S. citizens by birth. The applicant must be at least 18 years old, must read, write and speak basic English, must be a permanent resident and must have general knowledge about U.S. government and history.
The applicant must prepare a naturalization application and pay a fee. Once that is submitted, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will acknowledge its receipt. Applicants may also be required to submit biometric information, like fingerprints.
Interview and decision
USCIS will set up an interview with the applicant and then will mail him or her a notice detailing its decision. It may either grant, continue or deny the application.
If it grants the application, that means the applicant is eligible for naturalization. If it continues the application, that means USCIS needs additional information or does not have the correct documents. If it denies the application, it means the applicant is not eligible for naturalization.
If the application is granted, the applicant will appear to take the Oath of Allegiance and will receive a naturalization certificate. An experienced immigration attorney can help applicants through each step of the process.