Naturalization Process

Adriana Garcia

Several million non-citizens, also known as Aliens, live in the US. Some come here for educations, for jobs, or to visit family. They remain citizens of their own countries and eventually go back home. Others plan to settle here and become naturalized citizens. More then half a million immigrants, gain American citizenship each year.

Beginning the Process

Aliens who want to become US citizens must first sign a statement saying just that. This Declaration of Intention is then filled with the US Citizen and Immigration Services, an agency of the national government. Most of them the next step comes after living the US at least five years. If married to a Citizen only wait three years. During this time they take special classes to prepare for citizenship. If they are at least 18 years old and have lived in the US for at least 3 months they may file an application for citizenship.

Interview and Examination

After all the paper work has been checked, the alien has an interview with a USCIS official. Agency officials want to be sure the alien meets the necessary requirements and is of good moral character. They must also take a citizenship exam that consists of questions, about reading, writing, and speaking English and basic facts about the history and government. Then the USICS makes their decision.

Oath of Allegiance

If the application is granted, the last step is attending a ceremony and pledging an oath of allegiance. The alien must swear to be loyal to this country above all others, to obey the Constitution and other laws, and to perform military or other duties if needed. Then they sign a document and is declared a citizen of the US. If he or she has children under 18, the automatically become naturalized citizens too.