Naturalization is the method for someone not born in the United States to affirmatively act to become a U.S. citizen. Applicants for naturalization in Wheaton must meet certain requirements, and the qualifications differ depending on your circumstances. Accordingly, one of the first tasks in the Wheaton application process for naturalization is to determine eligibility.

The processing of naturalization applications often takes considerably more time now than it did in the past. Moreover, federal agencies are reviewing information provided on applications very closely and taking great care when evaluating applicants during the naturalization interview. Many applicants like yourself find it beneficial to work with an experienced immigration attorney while applying for citizenship to avoid mistakes in the process.

Initial Steps to Naturalization

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), a branch of the Department of Homeland Security, is the agency that oversees the naturalization process. USCIS views the application process for naturalization in Wheaton as consisting of several steps, including some preliminary inquiries.

Some people who initiate the naturalization process do not realize that they are already legally categorized as citizens, so USICS first recommends reviewing an individual’s circumstances to determine whether naturalization is even necessary. For instance, if one of an individual’s parents obtains citizenship, that individual may be eligible to apply for a Certificate of Citizenship based on the parent’s status and bypass the naturalization process.

Another crucial early step is to review the eligibility requirements to determine whether the applicant meets the qualifications. In most cases, an applicant must have held a green card for at least five years, but the time period can be significantly shorter for those who have served in the military or who are married to U.S. citizens. Applicants must also be able to demonstrate a knowledge of the English language and U.S. history and government, so it may be necessary to develop and practice these skills before proceeding too far in the application process.

Submitting the Application

Those applying for citizenship through naturalization need to prepare and submit Form N-400, Application for Naturalization. Some applicants need to file additional forms, such as forms certifying military service. Moreover, applicants need to have supporting documentation for the application and supply biometric information such as fingerprints.

It is wise to review the application instructions carefully and to ensure that information provided is accurate and complete. If someone makes a mistake and USCIS believes he or she is trying to gain citizenship through fraudulent practices, the applicant may be permanently prevented from obtaining citizenship.

The Interview

After USCIS reviews the application form and any supporting information, the agency then schedules an interview. The interview acts as a test to determine whether the applicant has a working knowledge of the English language.

During the interview, the agent asks questions about U.S. civics, and applicants must answer 60 percent of the questions correctly to pass. Therefore, the Wheaton application process for citizenship includes an oral test as one of the required elements. An applicant must also be able to write sentences in English.

Final Stages of the Wheaton Application Process for Naturalization

Applicants may wait many months for the final stages of the application process. The agency will send the results of the application, and if the application is approved, the applicant will receive a notice to take the Oath of Allegiance to the United States.

While many people might consider the oath and naturalization ceremony as the final step in the Wheaton application process for naturalization, USCIS includes an additional step. Individuals who have been naturalized are expected to undertake their responsibilities as U.S. citizens, so they should work to gain a full understanding of both their rights and duties as the concluding step in the naturalization application process.

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