What is Naturalization?
Naturalization is the process wherein one who was not born in the United States voluntarily becomes a U.S. Citizen. Despite recent negative media coverage about immigrants and immigration, as well as the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) revision of its mission statement, the United States has remained a nation of immigrants, and throughout our nation's history, immigrants have come here seeking a better way of life and have strengthened our nation in the process.
What to expect in the Naturalization Process?
The first part of the process is to complete the application for naturalization if you have already determined that you are eligible to naturalize. After you submit the application, USCIS will invite you to appear for a biometrics appointment as part of the background check process. After USCIS has completed a review of your application and the necessary background checks, they will invite you to an Interview and Testing appointment.
The Naturalization Interview & Testing is one of the steps necessary to complete the Naturalization process in the United States. It is not merely a formality, but a very important step in the path towards becoming a U.S. Citizen. For a complete list of the required steps in obtaining U.S. citizenship, please click here.
We have successfully assisted many clients with their naturalization applications and have provided below some helpful tips for the Naturalization Interview & Testing.
- Review your application. Generally, the interview/testing process will be two-part. First, the officer will review your N-400 application and submitted documentation. The second part will be the test-taking portion. The order may vary depending on the location and each part may be administered by the same or different officers. Since the interviewing officer will go through the application form and verify the answers you provided on your application, we recommend thoroughly reviewing the answers you've provided on your application as well as the documentation you have submitted as part of your preparation process.
- Provide updated documentation. If any of your information has changed (e.g. marital status, address, etc.), please make sure to inform the interviewing officer and provide supporting documentation. For example, if you have recently changed your name, make sure to bring documentation that shows that you have legally changed your name (e.g. court order). If you have recently filed your taxes and did not include the tax return or transcript in your application, make sure to bring a copy and let the interviewing officer know of this update.
- Study for the test. USCIS has provided a wide array of resources for naturalization applicants. The USCIS website contains study materials for the English test, a civics practice test, a pocket study guide, and other resources, including a video that details what to expect on your interview and testing appointment. For the history and civics test, you are required to answer 6 out of 10 questions correctly, whereas only one correct answer is needed to pass for each of the reading and writing tests.
- Dress and act professionally. Make sure to dress to impress and present yourself in the best way possible. Remember you are interviewing to be granted U.S. citizenship, so we recommend that you look the part. You are expected to arrive 30 minutes before your appointment, so give allowances for traffic, train, and other delays. You do not want to be late and give the wrong impression to your interviewing officer. During the interview, be courteous and answer all questions honestly. Providing false information may bar you from becoming a U.S. citizen or applying for other immigration benefits.
- Keep updated. The interviewing officer will usually inform you of her decision at the end of the interview. If everything goes well, the officer will tell you that they will recommend that your N-400 application be approved. You will then receive an official notice in the mail with information about your oath-taking ceremony. If requested, submit additional information to USCIS.
Remember that immigration applications, including naturalization applications, are adjudicated on a case-by-case basis. Although in most cases, you can apply for naturalization without the help of an attorney, if you have any legal or eligibility issues, we recommend that you seek the help of an immigration attorney, to make sure that your case is presented in the best possible light.
Rasoulpour Torregoza is the law firm for immigrants, by immigrants. We are founded on the motto of LegalEase: we do away with the legal jargon and make law easy to understand, so you can focus on what’s important to you – going for your American Dream.
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This website and blog constitute attorney advertising. Do not consider anything on this website or blog legal advice as the law is dynamic, particularly in the immigration field and nothing in this website constitutes an attorney-client relationship being formed. Set up a one-hour consultation with us before acting on anything you read here. Past results are no guarantee of future results and prior results do not imply or predict future results. Each case is different and must be judged on its own merits.