Naturalization is the process of becoming a citizen of the United States when you were born in another country. When you become a U.S. citizen in California, it grants you a number of rights and privileges that you did not have before. At the same time, it also means new responsibilities that you have to live up to.
According to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, there are quite a few steps involved in the process of applying for U.S. citizenship. What follows is a simplified explanation of the steps you must take.
- Determine your eligibility
The USCIS provides resources to help you make this determination. For example, if you are already a U.S. citizen, you cannot apply for naturalization. If either or both of your parents are citizens, you may be a citizen even if you were not born on U.S. soil.
- Gather documents
The documents that you need to submit with your application vary depending on your circumstances. You can obtain information about the documents you need from USCIS.
- Prepare and submit your application
The Application for Naturalization is Form N-400. You must fill it out and submit it along with the necessary documents.
- Attend your biometrics appointment
USCIS may need to collect information about you, such as your photograph and fingerprints. This occurs at a biometrics appointment. If you need one, you will receive a notice from USCIS informing you of your appointment time and location.
- Complete your interview
You will receive a notice informing you of the date and time of your interview with the USCIS. Bring this notice with you to your appointment.
- Take the Oath of Allegiance
You will receive notification in the mail as to whether the USCIS has accepted or denied your application. If accepted, the naturalization process is only complete when you attend a naturalization ceremony and take the Oath of Allegiance.
The information in this article is not intended as legal advice but provided for educational purposes only.