How To Apply For U.S. Citizenship: 3 Steps

May 26, 2023

The passport of the US is one of the most profitable in the world. There are a lot of pluses of U.S. citizenship.

However, the length of the procedure – obtaining US naturalization can require from several months to one or several years.

Grounds for legalization in America

A passport of a US citizen can be obtained with the next grounds:

  • Acquisition of the identity based on the birth principle.
  • Upon naturalization. The passport is issued to people who have been living in the US on official grounds for more than 5 years ( or 3 years if one has a marriage to an American).
  • Investment. Investors who have invested money in the country’s economy for a particular amount are issued a two-year permanent residency. After five years a person can request a passport application.
  • When serving in the US Army, a person can count on obtaining citizenship in a year. Payment of state duties is not required. If the service took place in a combat zone, then an American passport is issued immediately.

1.   Submit the N-400 blank

The naturalization procedure for immigrants begins with the submission of a blank N-400 which is one of the most extensive and thorough forms in the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

2.   Get your supporting documentation ready

While completing N-400, it is advisable to have extra documents as mentioned below:

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2 images must be in the size of 51 x 51 mm, with a fully open face, they must be carried with you when submitting documents. Learn more here about the requirements.

Green card

The first and most crucial report to add to N-400 is a permanent residence permit with a valid expiration date. In case the green card’s validity period is coming to an end, use Form I-90 “Application for Permanent Resident Card Replacement” to update it.

Marriage documents

Candidates who have been or are now married are obligated to attach the necessary documentation:

  • registration of marital relationship;
  • death registration of the former partner in case this is your situation;
  • proof of the dissolution of prior marriages.

Name change documentation

Candidates who have changed their names have to provide one of the following:

  • a marriage license;
  • court decision on divorce;
  • any court-issued records that reflect the legal renaming.

Registration for military service

Male applicants must provide authorization confirmation for military service. All residents of the US, aged 18-26 years, have to sign up with the Selective Service within 30 days after their 18th birthday.

3.   Fees and duties

All fees that an applicant for citizen status will be required to pay are usually divided into two categories:

  • state duties. The actual registration cost is $640 and $85 for biometric facilities. Those who are aged 75 and more, and military, are free from biometric payment;
  • the cost of paperwork. Immigration lawyers can charge $500-2500 for their services.

You can submit governmental charges by paper check, money transfer, or bank card. Using a bank card to proceed with payment will require you to fill extra form G-1450.

American legislation allows you to remain in the country on permanent terms without getting a passport. However, staying under the protection of the state is much safer and more practical.

Photo credit: 1-2) Global Residence Index.

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