Becoming a citizen through naturalization is a process in which a non-U.S. citizen voluntarily becomes an American citizen. U.S. citizens owe their allegiance to the United States and are entitled to its protection and to exercise their rights and responsibilities as citizens.
To become a U.S. citizen, you must:
- Have had a Permanent Resident Green Card for at least five years, or for at least three years if you’re filing as the spouse of a U.S. citizen
- If you apply for naturalization less than six months before your Permanent Resident Card expires, or do not apply for naturalization until your card has already expired, you must renew your card.
- You can apply for naturalization before you receive your new Green Card, but you’ll need to submit a photocopy of the receipt of your Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card, when you receive it.
Meet certain eligibility requirements including being:
- At least 18 years old at the time of filing
- Able to read, write, and speak basic English
- A person of good moral character
Go through the ten step naturalization process which includes:
- Determining your eligibility to become an American citizen
- Preparing and submitting form N-400, the application for naturalization
- Taking the U.S. Naturalization Test and having a personal interview
Take the United States Naturalization Test
One of the requirements in the naturalization process is taking the United States Naturalization Test.
Certificates of Citizenship and Naturalization
Certificates of Citizenship and Naturalization are proof of your U.S. citizenship.
Get a Certificate of Citizenship or Certificate of Naturalization
Apply for a Certificate of Citizenship if you were born abroad to U.S. citizen parents and they did not obtain a Consular Report of Birth Abroad for you before you turned 18.
Foreign nationals receive a Certificate of Naturalization when they become American citizens. Get certified copies of a Certificate of Naturalization.
Dual Citizenship or Nationality
Dual citizenship (or dual nationality) means a person may be a citizen of the United States and of another country at the same time. U.S. law does not require a person to choose one citizenship or another.
If you are a citizen of another country and have questions about that country's laws, policies, and mandatory military service, contact that country's embassy or consulate.
For information on dual nationality from the point of view of another country, please contact that country's embassy or consulate.
If you have dual citizenship and plan to travel to or from the United States, you must use a U.S. passport to enter and leave the United States.
A licensed attorney skilled in citizenship matters can assist you with questions about your situation. A local bar association can often provide a good referral.
Establish Citizenship Without a Birth Certificate
If you were born in the U.S. and there is no birth certificate on file, you will need several different documents to prove your citizenship:
- A letter from the vital records office in your birth state with your name and what years they searched for your birth certificate.
- A Letter of No Record from the vital records office. You will also need secondary evidence of U.S. citizenship to prove your birth in the United States.
If you were born outside the United States and your U.S. parent(s) did not register your birth at the U.S. Embassy or consulate, you may apply for a U.S. passport, but you will need:
- Your foreign birth record showing your parents' names
- Evidence of your parent(s) U.S. citizenship
- Your parents' marriage certificate
An Experienced Charlotte Immigration Lawyer Can Help You Understated Your Immigration Rights.
The law surrounding the legal rights of undocumented immigrants is complicated. Additionally, the facts of each case are unique.
Call aCharlotte immigration lawyer now at 704-486-5303 for a free consultation.