United States Citizenship could be acquired through birth or by naturalization. If you or your parents were not born in the United States, or if your parents were not naturalized before you became an adult, you could pursue the Aurora application process for naturalization.
Each year, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) inducts more than 600,000 immigrants into citizenship. In fact, Illinois is one of the top ten states in the U.S. with the most naturalized Americans. Reach out to an accomplished citizenship/naturalization attorney if you have questions regarding how to become a naturalized citizen.
Eligibility for the Naturalization Application Process
The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) itemizes certain requirements that must be met before starting to apply for naturalization in Aurora. The prerequisites are as follows:
- Must be over the age of 18
- Must be a green card, or a permanent resident, holder for a minimum of five years
- Must have lived within the USCIS district or in the state where you apply for a minimum of three months
- Must show continuous residence of five years minimum immediately after filing the N-400 form
- Must be physically present in the U.S. for a minimum of 30 months after filing the N-400 form
- Must show the ability to read, write, and speak in English
- Must have a basic knowledge of the U.S. government and history
- Must have good moral character
- Must show you live by the principles of the U.S. Constitution
Form N-400: Application for Naturalization
The process of applying for naturalization in Aurora begins with filling out an N-400 form. The application portion is 20 pages long and is accompanied by 18 pages of instructions.
The first part of the N-400 determines eligibility for the process. The document then continues to several sections that request personal facts and documents. While the applicant must sign the naturalization application, an additional signing will occur at the end of an interview with a USCIS officer.
Waivers of the English Language Requirement
While the steps toward citizenship typically require a resident to be proficient in English, some exceptions could be made for those of advanced age. Specifically, USCIS may waive the language ability term if a permanent resident is over 50 and has been living with a green card in the U.S. for 20 or more years.
Green card holders over 55 must also have been permanent residents for 15 years. If an applicant is over 65 and has been a permanent resident for more than 20 years, he or she could be given a simpler version of the civics test.
Interview Process for Citizenship
After submitting the N-400 form, the next step in the naturalization application process in Aurora is generally the interview. You may need to undergo an initial biometrics test that includes fingerprinting in order to obtain FBI clearance.
The interview itself would involve being questioned by a USCIS officer about the facts on your submitted N-400 application. Barring cases where an exception applies, this would also be the day that the civics exam will be administered.
Approval for Naturalization
While there are times when naturalization applications are denied, a legal permanent resident may still be able to file an appeal to a negative decision. If the citizenship application is approved, information about the oath of allegiance ceremonies will be sent to the applicant.
Whether administered at a scheduled ceremony or separately, the oath of allegiance will be given in English, even if the new citizen had an exemption for English proficiency during the application process. However, a translator may be present during the swearing-in ceremony. One may also request a modification for certain parts of the oath, including modifying the phrase “under God” for religious or cultural reasons.
Seeking Assistance with the Naturalization Application Process in Aurora
Undertaking the Aurora application process for naturalization could be an overwhelming task for any individual. If you have questions about any of the steps toward citizenship, a dedicated immigration attorney could provide the legal guidance and support that you need to become naturalized. Call today to get started exploring your options.