Arriving in Texas from another country of origin might have been exciting, yet stressful for you as well. You hopefully had already built a strong support network to provide guidance and support as you adapted to life in the United States. If you’re one of tens of thousands of people in this state and across the country who need help to become naturalized citizens, you no doubt have already begun to study as part of the process.
There are many requirements you must satisfy before applying for U.S. citizenship. You’ll also have to take several tests, which, of course, is why you need to study. Such tests will include information on various topics, including English and U.S. history. The more you learn about obtaining a green card and other issues you might encounter on your path to citizenship, the less likely it is that a legal obstacle will arise.
How old are you?
Before you can file an application to become a naturalized U.S. citizen, you must meet the age requirement, which, at this time, happens to be 18 or older. If a child is born to an immigrant parent in the United States, the child is a U.S. citizen; however, if you emigrated from another country but have not yet reached your eighteenth birthday, you must wait until that time arrives to apply for citizenship.
The Green Card
Possession of a green card means that the U.S. government has granted you permanent resident status, meaning you may live and work in Texas or elsewhere in the United States for as long as you’d like. To be eligible for citizenship, you must hold a green card for at least five consecutive years.
It matters where you live when you apply
You can’t live in one place, then travel to another and immediately apply to become a naturalized U.S. citizen. In fact, you must be able to show U.S. immigration officials that you have been residing in the state or district where you plan to apply for at least three months prior to submitting your application.
Prove mastery of English
Much of your study time will no doubt focus on developing competent skills in speaking, reading, writing and understanding English. You must prove such competence by taking written and oral examinations. You must also show that you have a basic understanding of how the U.S. government functions, and significant historical events that led to the present day.
Knowing about government is not enough
The U.S. government expects you to be loyal to the ideals and principles contained in the U.S. Constitution if you wish to be a U.S. citizen. Part of the process to gaining a naturalized citizen status includes demonstrating that you intend to govern your life according to these principles and ideals.
Do you have solid references?
Another thing U.S. immigration officials will want to know before granting you citizenship is whether you are a person of strong moral character. If officials believe you pose a risk to public safety in any way, it can definitely impede your ability to become a naturalized citizen. Therefore, you will need to enlist the aid of people who are willing to testify to your good character.
Taking the oath
A final step in the process of becoming a naturalized U.S. citizen is to take the Oath of Allegiance. For many people, this is a poignant and solemn moment that signifies the accomplishment of a long-sought goal. If, before you take the oath, you encounter challenges that delay or impede your path to citizenship, you should not hesitate to reach out for additional support, as one can resolve many issues once the exact problem has been determined.