The path to U.S. citizenship from visa to naturalization

The journey to becoming a citizen of the United States often begins with obtaining a visa. This could be a work, student or family-based visa. The type of visa depends on the individual’s circumstances and reasons for coming to the U.S.

Further, the process carries on with more steps and requirements. If you are a foreign national considering a move to the U.S., how should you go through the complex path from visa holder to U.S. citizen?

Becoming a permanent resident

After living in the U.S. for a certain time period, visa holders may be qualified to apply for permanent residence, also known as getting a green card. This typically involves sponsorship from an employer or family member. Meanwhile, some individuals may be eligible through other means, such as the Diversity Visa Lottery.

Applying for naturalization

Moreover, permanent residents can be eligible for naturalization if they have lived in the U.S. for a minimum of five years. If married to a U.S. citizen, they must have lived in the U.S. for three years. In addition, they must demonstrate continuous residence and physical presence in the U.S. and show good moral character. If they meet the requirements, they must apply for naturalization and pass a naturalization test.

Taking the Oath of Allegiance

The last step is taking the Oath of Allegiance at a naturalization ceremony. This oath signifies the applicant’s commitment to the U.S. and its Constitution. After taking the oath, the new citizen receives a Certificate of Naturalization, officially granting them U.S. citizenship.

Rights and duties of a U.S. citizen

Once an individual becomes a U.S. citizen, they enjoy the rights and privileges of citizenship, including the right to vote, live and work in the U.S. permanently and apply for federal jobs. Additionally, they have obligations, such as paying taxes, following the law and serving on a jury.

Attaining your goal of citizenship

The path to acquiring U.S. citizenship requires careful navigation. With legal guidance, you may go through the process with more understanding and perseverance as you strive to attain your goal of becoming a U.S. citizen.