What is naturalization?

On Behalf of | Dec 8, 2022 | Citizenship

Naturalization is the process you go through to obtain United States citizenship. 

If you are currently in the country on a green card, you may want to find out how it works.Here is a brief summary:

What does it entitle you to?

Once you become a U.S. citizen, you are entitled to stay in the country for as long as you like without needing to renew paperwork. You will obtain the same rights as people born here. 

You can apply for a U.S. passport which can help you travel around the world, and you will be entitled to stay outside of the country for as long as you like and still come back in without a problem. That is a massive advantage over a green card whose validity depends on you not spending too much time outside the U.S.

You will also gain the right to vote, allowing you to play a role in shaping the future of your adopted country.

When can I apply?

You cannot apply unless you have been here on a green card for at least three years. You must also be at least 18 years of age.

The immigration authorities will carry out background checks, so any criminal records here or abroad could harm your case.

You might also need to do some homework. You need to pass an English test and a citizenship exam with questions about life in the U.S.

If you believe you meet the conditions to trade your green card for the U.S. passport, seek legal help to find out more about the naturalization process.