How To Become A US Citizen

If you are planning to apply to become a US citizen, you need a guide for naturalization that will help you every step of the way throughout the complicated application and then testing process.

In October 2008, the US government altered the naturalization test to include specific sections testing the applicant’s knowledge of American culture as well as written English. This portion of the test is generally regarded as the most difficult for immigrants to pass successfully, so you should spend a little more time preparing for this section.

Be sure you understand the residency requirements completely before applying for US citizenship. Since 9/11, errors and omissions on the application that were once overlooked are now being turned down or even worse – flagged as suspicious.

In general, to even have a chance of becoming a naturalized US citizen, you will need to have been a legal permanent resident for at least five years prior to filling out the application. The application process is more simple and it is easier to be accepted if you are married to a US citizen, and usually only requires three years of being a permanent resident before completing an application.

To successfully become a US citizen, you will need to prove good moral character, fulfill all residency requirements, prove that you have the ability to read, write, and speak moderate-level English, and pass a naturalization test that includes sections on history, US government, and English reading comprehension.

This entire process can take up to three years waiting in line for your application to be reviewed and finally accepted, before you can move on to take the naturalization tests and the other steps you will need to complete.

Guest Author

Stephanie Rose

2 thoughts on “How To Become A US Citizen

  1. Hi CJ,

    I’m not sure if i’m posting this question in the correct location but I’m wondering if you can help me understand the best way to address my current situation. I am an Australian citizen and have been living and working in the US for over 5 years (started on a J1 Visa and am now on my third E3 visa). I recently got engaged to an American citizen and we are planning on getting married in the Summer of 2012 and then moving to Australia shortly afterwards.

    My question is – should I apply for a Green Card prior to us leaving the US or will it be just as eay to do it if/when we decide to move back to the US in the future? Basically is it of any value that I will have been living here for over 6 years by the time we look to leave?

    Many thanks for your help.


  2. Davyn except in exceptional circumstances I would recommend you get your Green Card while you are in the US. However you would have to be legally married for this to happen and for a majority of the process at a minimum (and all without any special waiver like advance parole). You could do it on a subsequent move back to the US but you would then enter the US on the K-3 marriage visa.

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