In Louisiana and throughout the United States, hundreds of thousands of people emigrate from other countries of origin — many for employment purposes, others because they are marrying U.S. citizens, and still others because they are seeking asylum. If you are immigrating to this country, your goal may be to become a naturalized citizen. This can be a rewarding yet challenging experience.
The more you learn ahead of time about the immigration process and the specific requirements you must fulfill to seek naturalization, the less likely you will encounter legal complications. However, it’s not uncommon for such issues to arise, which may delay or impede your ability to accomplish your goals. In such cases, it’s critical to know your rights and where to seek support to help resolve the problem.
You must be eligible in accordance with immigration laws to become a citizen
If you’re not eligible for citizenship but do not realize this fact, you might waste a lot of time and effort trying to achieve a goal you cannot accomplish at this time. This is why it is important to make sure you can fulfill all eligibility requirements before filing a petition. Such requirements include those shown in the following list:
- You have served as a member of the U.S. military.
- You’ve been married to a U.S. citizen for at least three consecutive years.
- You have legal permanent residency status (i.e., a green card).
If you’re eligible, you can then apply for naturalization through the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) department.
Two photographs no more than 30 days old
In addition to filling out Form N-400, the USCIS requires you to submit two recent photographs of yourself, which may be no more than 30 days old. If your appearance has changed — for instance, you had long hair at the time of the photo but now have short hair — you will need to take a new photograph that matches your current appearance.
You must also provide a copy of your fingerprints and take a civics and English test. One of the most important parts of the naturalization process is the immigration interview. During this interview, someone will ask you if you are willing to take an oath. The answers you provide to the interviewer should align with answers you wrote on your N-400 form.
Certificate of Naturalization
Once you have fully navigated the immigration process to become a U.S. citizen and have successfully fulfilled all requirements (including passing both tests), you will attend a special ceremony and be given a Certificate of Naturalization, signifying that you are a legal U.S. citizen. If legal complications arise at any time, you should not hesitate to reach out for additional support.