citizenship and naturalization

Immigration Legal Services


Naturalization is the way that a person not born in the United States voluntarily goes through the process of becoming a U.S. citizen. Citizenship is the position or status of being a citizen of a particular country.

Naturalization is the process to become a U.S. citizen if you were born outside of the United States. There are many advantages to becoming a U.S. citizen including helping family members immigrate to the United States, traveling with a U.S. passport, and voting in U.S. elections. Millions of lawful permanent residents are eligible to naturalize but need support to take the important step of becoming a U.S. citizen. A Certificate of Naturalization is given to a lawful permanent resident after he/she fulfills the requirements established by Congress in the Immigration and Nationality Act.

The naturalization process is managed by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS), which is part of the Department of Homeland Security. The path to naturalization starts with filing the form N-400 by a lawful permanent resident. Applicants must attend a naturalization interview, during which time they are required to take English Language Proficiency, Civic and U.S. History tests. If the applicant demonstrates eligibility for naturalization including successful test results, the application will be approved. The immigration officer will notify the applicant of the date and time of their naturalization ceremony they will take their Oath of Allegiance to America. Finally, the applicant will be given a certificate of naturalization, which proves US citizenship.