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Naturalization is the process by which U.S. citizenship is granted to a foreign citizen or national after he or she fulfills the requirements established by Congress in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). A person may derive or acquire U.S. citizenship at birth. Persons who are born in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction of the United States are citizens at birth. Persons who are born in certain territories of the United States also may be citizens at birth. In addition, persons who are born outside of the United States may be U.S. citizens at birth if one or both parents were U.S. citizens at their time of birth. Persons who are not U.S. citizens at birth may become U.S. citizens through naturalization. Naturalization is the conferring of U.S. citizenship after birth by any means whatsoever. Naturalized U.S. citizens share equally in the rights and privileges of U.S. citizenship.

How to Apply for Naturalization

To apply for naturalization, file Form N-400, Application for Naturalization. In general, an applicant files a naturalization application and then USCIS grants citizenship after adjudicating the application. In most cases, a person may not be naturalized unless he or she has been lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence. The USCIS conducts an investigation and examination of all naturalization applicants to determine whether an applicant meets all pertinent eligibility requirements to become a U.S. citizen. The investigation and examination process encompasses all factors relating to the applicant’s eligibility:

  • Completion of security and criminal background checks;
  • Review of the applicant’s complete immigration record;
  • In-person interview(s) with oral and written testimony;
  • Testing for English and civics requirements; and
  • Qualification for a disability exception.

You have the burden of establishing eligibility by a preponderance of the evidence throughout the examination.

Consult With Our Team

To discuss how one of our lawyers can assist you with your immigration matter, contact us online or call 601-957-3101.