There are two main ways to become a U.S. citizen— either by acquiring or deriving citizenship status at birth through your U.S. citizen parents or grandparents, or through naturalization. In order to be eligible for naturalization, you must first be a Lawful Permanent Resident for at least three or five years (depending on how you became a resident). Additionally, certain members and veterans of the U.S. armed forces and their dependents may be eligible for an expedited naturalization process under special provisions of law.
The naturalization application involves several steps. First, you must file an application form and supporting documents with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Next you will be scheduled for a biometrics and an interview. During the interview, you will be given an English and Civics exam. The citizenship exam is made up of four parts— speaking, reading, writing, and civics— that are designed to test your English language ability as well as your knowledge of U.S. history and government. Finally, following a passing score on the exam, you will be scheduled for an oath ceremony at which time you will take the Naturalization Oath of Allegiance to the United States.
If you think you may be eligible for citizenship, or would like more information on how to apply for naturalization, please contact our office. If you are a U.S. Citizen interested in filing a petition for a relative, please see Family Visa Petitions.