Once you have satisfied the requirements for U.S. citizenship, you will be eligible to go through the naturalization process. Naturalization is the procedure under which U.S. citizenship is granted to a foreign citizen or national. In order to apply for U.S. citizenship you will need to file Form N-400, Application for Naturalization.
Upon receipt of your Application for Naturalization, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will undertake an investigation to determine whether you meet all of the eligibility requirements to become a U.S. citizen. The investigation will include a complete review of your immigration record along with security and criminal background checks. In addition, you will have to pass the naturalization test.
At your in-person naturalization interview, you will be questioned about your application and background and you will also have to take English and civics tests, unless you are eligible for an exemption or waiver. Exceptions and accommodations to the English and civics tests are set forth on the USCIS website. These include exemptions for individuals of certain ages who meet specific residency requirements and exceptions and modifications based on a physical or developmental disability or a mental impairment. If you have questions about an exemption or accommodation, contact a Baltimore naturalization attorney at our firm to discuss your particular situation.
USCIS offers a number of study aides on its website for both the English test and civics test. In addition, many community organizations and social service providers regularly provide citizenship classes to help individuals prepare for the naturalizations tests. The English test is designed to evaluate your ability to speak, read and write in English.
The civics test is comprised of a list of 100 questions covering the history of United States and the U.S. government. You will be asked up to 10 questions from the list of 100 civics questions and you must answer at least 6 of the questions correctly to pass the civics test. You will have two opportunities to take the English and civics tests per application. If you fail any portion of the English or civics tests at your first interview, you will be retested on the part of the test you failed between 60 and 90 days from the date of your initial interview.
It is important for you to take the time to study and prepare for these tests because if you are unable to pass both tests on your second attempt, you will be required to re-apply for naturalization and pay the associated fees.
In addition to naturalization, individuals planning to enter the U.S. under the many different U.S. visa categories will generally be required to undergo an interview. Visa interview requirements will depend on the specific type of visa you are applying for and your individual circumstances, including your age. A Baltimore naturalization attorney at our firm can help you determine the specific interview requirements associated with your visa and answer your questions about the interview process. We offer free consultations and can be reached at 410-321-4994 or via our online contact form.