Applying for Citizenship/Naturalization
The process of applying for citizenship in the United States has always been a long and complex one, but it is becoming more difficult and complicated more recently with political and legal changes taking place. Many Muslims in DuPage County have questions and concerns about the citizenship or naturalization process. Naturalization is the process through which a foreign citizen obtains U.S. citizenship. Sometimes Muslim families in Oakbrook Terrace need help with the naturalization process for a family member who is currently a citizen of another country. In other cases, Muslim residents of DuPage County may be living and working in the U.S. on a visa but want to begin the naturalization process in order to become a U.S. citizenship.
At Farooqi & Husain Law Office, we know how frustrating and difficult immigration law issues surrounding citizenship and naturalization can be. We have years of experience serving members of the Muslim community, and we can answer your questions about the naturalization process today.
Determining Eligibility for Naturalization
What is involved in applying for citizenship or beginning the naturalization process? According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the first step in applying for citizenship is determining whether you are actually eligible to seek U.S. citizenship. What are the requirements for naturalization? In most circumstances, all of the following must be true:
- At least 18 years old;
- Currently a Permanent Resident;
- Has been a Permanent Resident for at least three years (and in many cases at least five years);
- Has not been out of the U.S. for 30 months or more during the last five years;
- Has not taken a trip outside the U.S. for one year or more during the last five years;
- Has been living in the district or state where applying for citizenship for at least three months;
- Can read, write, and speak basic English;
- Knows the “fundamentals of U.S. history” and principles of U.S. government;
- Has “good moral character”;
- Has complied with regulations regarding Selective Service;
- Has not deserted from the U.S. military;
- Has not received a discharge from the U.S. military because the applicant was an alien;
- Is willing to perform military or civilian service;
- Is willing to support the U.S. Constitution; and
- Is willing to take the oath of allegiance to the U.S. and will understand the oath.
If a person seeking naturalization has only been a Permanent Resident for three to five years, then the person will need to meet requirements in addition to those listed above. Those additional requirements usually include the following:
- Is currently married to and is living with a U.S. citizen;
- Has been married to the U.S. citizen for at least three years;
- Spouse (the current U.S. citizen) has been a U.S. citizen for at least three years; and
- Has not been out of the country for 18 months or more during the last three years.
Submitting Your Application for Naturalization
If you meet the requirements for applying for naturalization, the next step is to actually submit your application. The application is known as the Form N-400. Once you submit the application, you will need to go through a number of additional steps, which may include a biometrics appointment and a USCIS interview.
Contact a DuPage County Immigration Lawyer
If you have a family member who needs to apply for citizenship or naturalization in DuPage County, or if you need help with your own citizenship application process, an experienced Oakbrook Terrace immigration lawyer can help. Contact Farooqi & Husain Law Office for more information about how we can assist you.