Those who want to become citizens of the United States must first go through a lot since the immigration process involved is quite difficult and processing times are long. Add to this the fact that not everyone is eligible for citizenship. United States citizenship is not granted to a lot of people.
If you want a shot at becoming a citizen of the United States, you must first be familiar with how one can apply through the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). There are several immigration forms and supporting documents that a foreign national applying for citizenship must fill out and file.
All the above must be taken seriously if you want to successfully gain citizenship. Additionally, to make things simpler, it is important to seek legal help from an experienced New Jersey immigration attorney.
This article will cover:
- Lawful Permanent Residence and Your Citizenship Application
- Rights and Responsibilities and US Citizenship
- The US Citizens Test
- Qualifying for Citizenship
Lawful Permanent Residence and Your Citizenship Application
A citizenship application requires at least five years of lawful permanent resident status, with the aspiring US citizen being physically present for at least half of this period and not spending more than a continuous year in his or her home country (or anywhere outside the United States).
Given this requirement, it can be assumed that an immigrant who has become a permanent resident cardholder is probably familiar with how an application process with the USCIS works. However, while getting a permanent residency is undeniably difficult, having citizenship papers approved is more challenging in certain aspects.
Rights and Responsibilities and US Citizenship
While immigrants who become permanent residents enjoy certain privileges. Being able to obtain citizenship will enable one to travel abroad and reside abroad with fewer restrictions. Additionally, United States citizens enjoy the right to vote in elections and can make use of family immigration laws to process immigrant visas of alien family members. Relatives of a citizen of the United States have a higher chance to immigrate and, eventually, even qualify for citizenship as well.
Given all these advantages, seeking citizenship status involves a stringent screening process. On top of the immigration forms you are to submit to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services, one must always prepare for what is called the US citizenship test. A reliable New Jersey immigration attorney can explain these in detail.
The US Citizens Test
Those seeking citizenship must be able to pass this test that is composed of two parts. It generally includes a variety of topics spread across several questions. Understanding the different portions of the test (English and Civics) and preparing for these can be difficult for most people. It is, however, not impossible to get a passing score.
The first part is composed of an English test. This portion aims to assess the ability of the aspiring United States citizen to speak, read, and write in the English language. The second part, meanwhile, is composed of a Civics test. This portion aims to evaluate whether an applicant obtaining citizenship has sufficient knowledge of United States history and government. The US citizenship test is often administered the same day as one’s citizenship interview. It might help to know that an applicant is given two chances to take the said test.
In general, all aspiring citizens of the United States are required to take and pass both portions of the test. Certain individuals, however, could qualify for exemptions. Certain groups of applicants may be exempt based on age or specific medical conditions, among other factors stated in relevant immigration law.
Qualifying for Citizenship
Aside from having legal permanent resident status (for a minimum number of years) and passing the citizenship test, there are other citizenship requirements that one must meet.
An individual who is 18 years old or above may apply for citizenship and may eventually become a citizen in the United States if he or she exhibits good moral character. He or she must also be willing to take an oath of allegiance and state his or her belief in the principles of the US Constitution. Regardless of your immigration status, experienced New Jersey immigration attorneys can help you every step of the way.
For any questions on the citizenship test, how to prepare, what types of questions to expect, or what to anticipate after completing this part of the citizenship process, give us a call. Contact our New Jersey immigration attorney at Andres Mejer Law for a consultation.