The Naturalization Process

By : Tayha Black

Beginning the Process

Aliens that want to become a United States citizens have to first sign a statement saying that they want to be a citizen. Then the Declaration of Intention is filed with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The next step comes after living in the United States at least five years; married aliens only wait three. Many immigrants take special classes to prepare for citizenship. If they are at least 18 and have lived in the U.S. for at least 3 months in the state where they wish to become naturalized, they can file an application for citizenship.

Interview and Examination

After all of the filled out paperwork is cleared, the alien has to interview with official USCIS personal. The interview is so agency officials can make sure the alien meets the necessary requirements to become a model citizen. The applicant must also take a citizen- ship exam which includes questions about reading, writing, and speaking english, it also has basic facts about the history and government of the United States. After all of the paperwork is filled out and the tests are taken the USCIS makes a decision.

Oath of Allegiance

If or when the application is granted, the final step is attending a ceremony and pledging an oath of allegiance to America. The applicant 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 to solidify the deal the person signs a document and is declared a citizen of the United States. If he or she has children under 18, they automatically become citizens too.

Native Americans

98% of the time throughout American history, Native Americans were excluded from cit- izenship. A few groups became citizens through treaties with the federal govern- ment. Later, Congress offered citizenship to individual Native Americans who gave up their traditional culture. Not until 1924 did Congress make all Native Americans citizens of the United States.