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In order to become a naturalized U.S. citizen, you must fulfill a number of requirements set forth in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). Becoming a citizen through naturalization can be a lengthy and complicated process. This is why many applicants find it useful and necessary to receive guidance from a U.S. immigration attorney who has a proven track record of helping people obtain citizenship.

US Citizenship
The first step to becoming a citizen is determining if you are eligible for naturalization. You must be:

  • At least 18 years of age;
  • A permanent resident of the United States for at least five years unless you have been living with your U.S.. citizen spouse for the past 33 months which would mean you are now eligible to file;
  • Have “good moral character”;
  • Have a basic knowledge of the U.S. government; and
  • Be able to speak, read, and write in English. However, if you are 55 years old or older and have lived in the U.S. for at least 15 years or are 50 years old and have lived here for at least 20 years you can ask to take the test in your own native language

If you meet those requirements, you will need to fill out the proper forms and pay a $595 filing fee. Your N-400 application must include two identical passport-style color photographs of yourself and a copy of your permanent resident card or green card. During your interview, you will have to bring your permanent resident card, a state-issued identification such as a driver’s license, valid and expired passports, and travel documents.

There are a number of tests that you will have to take during the naturalization interview. You will be questioned about your background. You will also have to take speaking, reading, and writing tests in addition to examinations that test your knowledge of U.S. government. You will be asked up to 10 questions from the list of 100 questions found on the official USCIS website. You must answer at least six of the 10 questions to pass the test. You will have two opportunities to pass the English and civics tests. If you fail, you can seek a new test between 60 and 90 days later.

Anyone who is currently involved in the naturalization process, or who may wish to apply for U.S. citizenship, would be well advised to seek the guidance and counsel of an experienced Los Angeles immigration lawyer. Mistakes made during the application process can result in significant delays that make an already complicated process even more challenging. Please contact our offices at (800) 792-9889 to obtain more information.