All You Need to Know About the American Naturalization Process

Applying for a green card

American is truly the definition of a multi-cultural nation, thanks largely to its immigration policies and laws. According to data collected in 2012, the U.S. is home to over 40 million immigrants from all over the world. A whopping 20% of international immigrants have found their home inside America, making it a country that truly embraces variety and cultural diversity. Moreover, immigrants also have the option of obtaining American citizenship through a naturalization process if they fulfil certain simple criteria.

The United States has a transparent, simple process of naturalization, which requires certain criteria to be satisfied in accordance with immigration laws. The adjustment of status is effected after an interview and a relevant test concerning the English language and civic responsibilities. Let us take a quick look at the process itself –


To be eligible for naturalization, the applicant needs to fulfil the following criteria –

  • Applicant must be 18 years of age at the time of application, or older
  • Applicant must have been a permanent resident of the U.S. Holding a green card for at least five years (or three years for applicants married to U.S. Citizens)

Those immigrants who fulfil these criteria can apply for naturalization directly at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Interview and Tests

Once enrolled in the program, applicants are then called for an interview regarding their application, and also get through tests on language proficiency and civil awareness. Based on their performance in both cases, they are granted approval for naturalization. The process is completed with selected applicants taking an oath of allegiance towards their new home, and receive a certificate of naturalization.

Potential Issues and Solutions

Sometimes, there might be delays in the naturalization process. For example, if an applicant fails any of the two tests or does not provide satisfactory answers to their citizenship test questions, there might be need for second attempts or further documentary evidence to support their claim. In these cases, rescheduling is usually done according to the schedule of the USCIS.

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