Natty Shafer Law

Utah lawyer for criminal and immigration cases

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Citizenship Naturalization Process

Applicants who have determined that they are eligible for naturalization are likely to be curious about the process of naturalization and what to expect. (Other people may be curious, too.)

First, applicants (or their attorneys) fill out the N-400. Every question should be answered, and it should be written in CAPS. What supporting documentation to submit depends on the applicant’s history and basis for filing the N-400, but each application requires a photocopy of the front and back of their Permanent Resident Card, 2 passport style photos, and a check for the filling fees.

After USCIS receives the application, they will send a notice for a “biometric” appointment. Basically, they will take the applicants’ fingerprints and possibly their pictures so that they can conduct background checks. Assuming that applicants have no criminal history, no ties to terrorist or communist organizations, and no other red flags, then they should pass the background check. It is possible to select another appointment date, but if at all possible, applicants should go to their appointment on the assigned date.

USCIS will send a notice for another appointment, this time for the naturalization interview. Some applicants may qualify for a waiver, but most applicants will need to be ready to take a civics test and to speak to the interviewer in English. The whole interview will be done in English, and one of the interviewer’s goals will be to test the applicant’s ability to communicate in English. The interviewer will ask up to 10 questions on civics and the U.S. government; once the applicant has correctly answered 6 questions, the questions stop. The applicant will also need to read one sentence in English and write one sentence in English. An applicant will get up to 3 chances to read and write a sentence correctly.

An applicant who passes the naturalization interview and the background check is likely to be recommended for citizenship. Applicants will get a final notice for their swearing in ceremony. Usually, many applicants are sworn-in at once. Either a United States judge or a USCIS officer will swear in the applicants, and the applicants must swear allegiance to the United States. After that, applicants are officially U.S. citizens. They can vote, serve on juries, obtain a U.S. passport, and generally have the same rights as citizens born in the United States.