The decision to acquire citizenship of the United States is perceptible and a crucial one for a green card holder. This decision proves the loyalty and commitment of an individual to the U.S. and to its constitution. The U.S. too takes pleasure in inviting immigrants from various regions of the world and values their inputs in social and economic upliftment of the nation. It brings along a lots of benefits, privileges and rights as a U.S. citizen. To apply for U.S. citizenship, the applicant must submit Form N-400 (U.S. Citizenship Application) duly filed and completed along with photos and supporting documents.
Advantages of U.S. citizenship
- Right to vote
- Citizenship for children
- Sponsoring family members
- Globe-trotting made easy
- Federal and State benefits
- Medicare and Social Security
- Higher employment rate
- Eligibility for federal employment
- Better earnings
- Eligibility for financial aids and grants
- Eligibility for elected official
Who can apply for citizenship?
- Lawful permanent residents whose Green Card has been valid for at least five years
- Immigrants with a valid Green card and married to a U.S. citizen for at least 3 years
- Applicants who were enlisted into the U.S. military and have provided service for at least one year
- Applicants who have performed active military service during anyone of the following period:
- World War I (April 6, 1917-November 11, 1918)
- World War II (September 1, 1939-December 31, 1946)
- Korea (June 25, 1950-July 1, 1955)
- Vietnam (February 28, 1961-October 15, 1978)
- Persian Gulf (AugU.S.t 2, 1990-April 11, 1991)
- On or after September 11, 2001
- Applicants who were married to a U.S. citizen who died during a period of honorable active duty service in the U.S. Armed Forces (Note: Applicant must have been married to and living with the U.S. citizen spouse at the time of his/her death)
- Applicant who is the spouse of a U.S. citizen who is one of the following can apply Form N-400 without having to fulfill the physical presence or continued existence criteria:
- A member of the U.S. Armed Forces.
- An employee or an individual under contract to the U.S. Government.
- An employee of an American institution of research recognized by the Attorney General.
- An employee of an American-owned firm or corporation engaged in the development of foreign trade and commerce for the United States.
- An employee of a public international organization of which the United States is a member by law or treaty.
- A person who performs ministerial or priestly functions for a religious denomination or an interdenominational organization with a valid presence in the United States.
Other Eligibility Requirements:
- Individual should be 18 years of age or older to file Form N-400
- Children younger than 18 years should use Form N-600 which is the Application for a Certificate of Citizenship and automatically naturalize when their parents become citizens
- For adopted children, Form N-643 is to be used to acquire citizenship from parents
- Lawful permanent residents whose Green Card has been valid for at least five years and have physical presence in the U.S. for at least half of that time can apply
- Applicants who are married to a U.S. citizen and have been Lawful permanent residents for at least 3 years can file Form N-400
- Individuals should not have established a primary home in any another country
- Individuals should not have spent more than one year continuously (at a stretch) outside the U.S.
- Individuals should have lived in the state or district where he/she is filing application for at least three months
Moral and Character
- Individuals should possess a fine ethical character
- Individuals must have paid their taxes promptly
- Individuals must not have any criminal record against them
- Individuals must not have involved in any illegal activities
- The applicant has to fulfill all the criteria set by the USCIS for background verification
- The USCIS can not only reject Form N-400, but also cancel green card when any applicant is found with fraudulent green card or when found to have abandoned their residency by making home outside the U.S.
- Individuals should read, write and speak good English
- Exemption: Applicants who are at least fifty (50) years of age and have been a lawful permanent resident for at least twenty (20) years; or applicants who are at least fifty-five (55) years of age and have been a lawful permanent resident for at least fifteen (15) years; or applicant has a permanent physical or developmental disability or mental impairment are exempted from this criteria
U.S. Government Knowledge
- Individuals should possess sound knowledge of the U.S. History and Government
- Individuals should be able to pass a test covering U.S. history and government
- Exceptions : Applicants who are at least fifty (50) years of age and have been a lawful permanent resident for at least twenty (20) years and for persons with certain medical disabilities are exempted from this criteria
Individuals must oblige to take an Oath of allegiance
Supporting Documents for Form N-400 submission
- Duly filled Form N-400
- Photocopies of Green card (Exception: If green card is stolen or damaged, receipt of Form I-90 Application)
- Social Security Number (if applicable)
- Two color photographs with name of the applicant written in pencil at the back of the photo
- Check or money order for Filing fee including Biometric fee
- In case of any name change, supporting legal documents for the same
- In case of application based on marriage to a U.S. citizen, Naturalization certificate or Certificate of Citizenship, Marriage Certificate, supporting documents (bank accounts, tax receipts, birth certificates of children, etc.,) to prove that you and your spouse are legally married and are living together
- In case of application based on U.S. military service, form N-426 [Certification of Military or Naval Service], IRS tax return transcripts and Rent receipts
- Tax related documents including IRS Tax Form 1722, copies of returns for the past 3 years
- In case of application for exception to citizenship test requirements based on disability, Form N-648 [Medical Certification for Disability Exceptions] duly signed by a licensed medical doctor
For further clarifications and support, please contact us at www.immigas.com