Welcome to the United States

Helpful Q&As/Resoruces/Links

Testing

TESTING


Q. Do I have to take a test?

A. Yes. The process of becoming a U.S. citizen is called naturalization. To become a naturalized U.S. citizen, you must pass the naturalization test.


Q. What are the topics/questions on the test about?

A. “During your naturalization interview, a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Officer will ask you questions about your application and background. You will also take an English and civics test unless you qualify for an exemption or waiver. The English test has three components: reading, writing, and speaking. The civics test covers important U.S. history and government topics” (USA.gov, 2015, para 1).


To find out more about taking the test and the testing process follow the steps below:


Go to the USA.gov website by entering

http://www.welcometousa.gov/default.htm

Click on “Immigration and Citizenship” (2nd tab at the top of the page)

Click on “Naturalization Test Study Materials (4th option down in blue in the middle of the page)

*You can also copy and paste the following link which will take you directly to the test information portion of the website.

http://www.welcometousa.gov/Immigration_citizenship/Naturalization_test_study_materials.htm

Study guides, tools, resources, and a practice test link is also available through the USA.gov website.

Visa

VISA

Q. How does the visa lotter work?

A. The Diversity Visa Lottery program helps people avoid scams.


How the Lottery works

· A person may only enter the lottery once a year (a month in the fall)

· Place entry online at dvlottery.state.gov

· Answer questions

· Give information about yourself, spouse, and children under the age of 21

· Submit digital photos of yourself

· The service is free of charge

· The winners are chosen at random by a computer

· A letter or email will be sent from The State Department saying he or she has won.

· The entry winner will then pay a fee to either the U.S. embassy or consulate for the appointment. (The U.S. government does not take money in advance and will not ask)


Scams

· Scams will ask for money when a person is applying for help

· Promise to increase chances

· Send a message stating a person won and ask for money

· To report a scam call 1-877-382-4357 or go to ftc.gov/complaint


To find out more about applying for a visa follow the steps below:

Go to the USA.gov website by entering http://www.welcometousa.gov/default.htm

Click on “Immigration and Citizenship” (2nd tab at the top of the page)

Click on “Immigrating to the United States” (First option on middle of page)

Click on “Type of Immigrant Visas” (2nd Option down)

This will direct you to another site http://travel.state.gov/content/visas/english/immigrate.html which will provide you with more information on visas

Legal Assistance

LEGAL ASSISTANCE

Q. How to I obtain legal assistance?

A. The U.S. Department of Justice provides free legal services in 26 states and Puerto Rico. The DOJ provides accredited representatives listed by state to help avoid scams. Please note: Alaska, Iowa, and Oklahoma do not offer free legal services.

Be aware of immigration scams. If you take part in an immigration scam it can result in a delay your application or petition; cost you unnecessary fees; and possibly lead to removal proceedings.



To find out more about legal assistance follow the steps below:

Go to the USA.gov website by entering http://www.welcometousa.gov/default.htm

Click on “Immigration and Citizenship” (2nd tab at the top of the page)

Click on “Finding Legal Assistance” (5th option down on middle of page)

This will direct you to resources and tools pertaining to legal assistance.

Wait Times

Wait Times


Q. How long must I wait to become a U.S. Citizen?

A. You must wait 5 years after becoming a legal permanent resident of the U.S. or 3 years if married to a U.S. Citizen.

The application process is called Naturalization. In order to apply for Naturalization you must be a Legal Permanent Resident of the U.S. for at least 5 continuous years or 3 continuous years if married to a U.S. Citizen. If you leave the U.S. for more than 6 months in any one trip you may break your continuous residence and if you leave for more than 12 months in any one trip you are breaking continuous residence and must start over.

It also important to maintain a physical presence in the U.S. of at least 30 months within the 5 years or 18 months within the 3 years if married to a U.S. citizen.


To find out more about legal assistance follow the steps below

Go to the USA.gov website by entering http://www.welcometousa.gov/default.htm

Click on “Immigration and Citizenship” (2nd tab at the top of the page)

Click on “Applying for Naturalization” (3rd option down)

Click on “Learn About the Naturalization Process” (2nd option down)

This will take you to “A Guide to Naturalization” which provides information on wait times and the naturalization process.

Criminal Record

Criminal Record


Q. If I was arrested can I still become a U.S. Citizen?

A. Yes. You must report all crimes in your application. Some crimes may not keep you from becoming a U.S. Citizen but lying about your criminal record will. For crimes that generally involve violence and a prison sentence of 1 year, you may never become a U.S. Citizen. These include: murder, rape, aggravated felony, sexual abuse of a child, trafficking in drugs, firearms, or people.

Naturalzation

Naturalization


Q. What is naturalization?

A. Naturalization is the process taken to grant U.S citizenship to a foreign citizen or national, naturalization is granted once the individual has fulfilled all requirements established by congress in the Immigration and Nationality Act.

You can find more information at: http://www.uscis.gov/us-citizenship/citizenship-through-naturalization/guide-naturalization


Q. How can I apply for naturalization?

A. There are 10 steps to naturalization, please make sure you meet all eligibility requirements as listed below:

· Determine you current U.S citizenship status – Ask yourself these questions:

Was I born in the U.S?

Did I acquire citizenship through my parents after my birth automatically?

· Check if you are eligible for U.S citizenship.

Review the naturalization eligibility worksheet at:

http://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/USCIS/Resources/Citizenship%20&%20Naturalization%20Based%20Resources/A%20Guide%20to%20Naturalization/PDFs/M-480.pdf

· Fill out and prepare form N-400, application for naturalization. At http://www.uscis.gov/n-400

· Submit the form; you may check the status of your application by calling 1-800-375-5283.

· Complete your biometric appointment if applicable.

· You must conduct an interview, report to the USCIS office on the date and time of your appointment to complete the naturalization process.

· USCIS will give you written notification of their decision. The decisions include: Granted, Continued, and Denied.

· If granted, You may participate in an oath ceremony on the same day as your interview.

· Take the oath; you are not U.S citizens until you take the Oath of Naturalization ceremony.

· Understand what it means to be a U.S citizen and learn your rights. Learn more at:

http://www.uscis.gov/citizenship/learners/citizenship-rights-and-responsibilities

http://www.uscis.gov/citizenship/learners/apply-citizenship


To find out more about apply for naturalization follow the steps below:

Go to the USA.gov website by entering http://www.welcometousa.gov/default.htm

Click on “Immigration and Citizenship” (2nd tab at the top of the page)

Click on “Applying for Naturalization” (3rd option down)

Refugees

Refugees


Q. I am a refugee, how do I become a permanent resident?

A. To apply for a green card as a refugee you need to:

1) File Form I-485 (application to register permanent residence or adjust status) no later than 1 year after arrival.

2) Complete forms; G-28; Form G-325ª; Form I-693, and other forms as requested.

3) Provide evidence of refugee status (this may include a clear, readable photocopy of form I-94 or a copy of your employment authorization document).

4) Provide proof of any legal name change you have obtained since you were granted refugee status.


Q. I am a refugee, how to I get my family to the U.S.?

A. You must prepare a separate Form I-485 application packet for each member of your family who wishes to obtain a green card. All family members’ application packets should be mailed together in the same mailing envelope. To hold each application packet together, please use a single staple or a paper clip.


To find out more about assistance for refugees follow the steps below:

Go to the USA.gov website by entering http://www.welcometousa.gov/default.htm

Click on “Immigration and Citizenship” (2nd tab at the top of the page)

Click on “For Refugees and Asylees” (6th option down)