You may be one of many Texas immigrants who came to the United States with dreams and goals for your future. Is your ultimate goal to become a naturalized citizen? If so, you definitely will want to research the regulations that pertain to the process so that you can prepare as thoroughly as possible to help you avoid obstacles or delays.
Maybe you come from a long line of ancestors who have become U.S. citizens, or, perhaps, you are the first person in your family to set out to achieve this goal. Either way, it may wind up being one of the most rewarding, yet challenging, experiences of your life. If you have a strong support system in place and take one step at a time, it is quite possible that your status will, one day, change from immigrant to citizen!
First thing’s first
When you decide that you want to become a U.S. citizen, you must place your request in writing. Most immigration processes include applications and documents. The following list includes basic steps to take to begin the naturalization application process:
- Get your picture taken because you will need two passport-style photographs to complete your application.
- You will also need to be able to attach written evidence that shows you have satisfied the eligibility requirements for the citizenship application.
- It is always a good idea to carefully review your application before submitting it. This is the easiest way to catch any mistakes you might have made when filling out the documents, so you can correct them before filing out your application.
The next step
Once U.S. Immigration and Citizenship Services receives your application, you may have to do one or more of the following:
- Provide a sample of your fingerprints.
- Have another photograph taken.
- Submit your written signature.
- Present additional forms of identification, such as a valid driver’s license or state ID card.
- Attend an appointment to obtain a study guide for an English and civics test. This list is not extensive but provides basic information regarding what you might expect as you satisfy the requirements of application to become a U.S. citizen.
Moving closer toward your goal
As you work to accomplish your ultimate goal of becoming a naturalized U.S. citizen, the following steps will be part of your final process:
- You will, at some point, attend an interview where you will answer a series of questions.
- You will take a test to prove that you are skilled in speaking, writing and reading in English.
- You will need to show that you have basic understanding of U.S. history facts.
- Your interview will also check to make sure you understand basic facts and functions of the U.S. government.
The final step in becoming a U.S. citizen is to take the Oath of Allegiance at an official ceremony. On that day, you will hand in your permanent residence card in exchange for a certificate of naturalization. If, at any time throughout your naturalization process, you encounter legal challenges, you can turn to an experienced U.S. immigration law attorney for support.