5 Steps to Naturalization (US Citizenship Guide)

5 Steps to Naturalization (US Citizenship Guide)

Maneesha Mukhi:
Trying to figure out the naturalization process? In today’s video, I will explain how to apply
for U.S. citizenship in five easy steps and share some bonus tips so you can apply for
citizenship with confidence. Welcome to Ask Ellis, your number one source
for all things immigration. For the latest immigration info and tips,
subscribe to our channel and hit the bell to be notified when I post a new video every
Tuesday. Maneesha Mukhi:
By the end of this video, you will know how to apply for citizenship, how long it takes,
and how much it costs. You will also gain access to a guide I created
just for you. Ask Ellis has helped thousands of people navigate
the citizenship process and I’m so excited that it’s now your turn. So let’s dive in. Maneesha Mukhi:
Step one. Before you do anything, make sure you qualify
for naturalization. The two big requirements for naturalization
are how long you’ve had your green card and the residency requirement. If you got your green card through marriage,
then you need to have had your green card for three years before you’re eligible for
naturalization. If you got your green card in any other way,
it’s typically five years. However, there is a 90 day rule that allows
you to apply for naturalization 90 days before you hit these deadlines. Maneesha Mukhi:
So if you got your green card through marriage, you can actually apply once you’ve had your
green card for two years and nine months and four years and nine months, if you got your
green card in a different way. To figure out where your clock starts, simply
look at the front of your green card and look at the issue date and count three or five
years from that date. Maneesha Mukhi:
The second requirement, the residency requirement is also known as continuous physical presence. What this means is that as a green card holder,
you must have been living in the U.S. for the past three or five years depending on
how you got your green card. Continuous presence does not mean that you
cannot leave the country in that time, but you do need to keep tabs on how much time
you’re spending out of the U.S. Maneesha Mukhi:
Basically, you need to spend six months out of every year in the U.S. If you did leave the U.S. for more than six
months but less than one year, you may still meet the eligibility criteria for naturalization. However, absences of more than a year typically
break the required continuity for citizenship. If you fall into this zone, I highly recommend
you speak with an immigration attorney as there are sometimes exceptions to this. Maneesha Mukhi:
There are also other important requirements that you should make sure you meet. I’m going to link to an article in the description
below, so be sure to check it out as it lists the remaining requirements for citizenship. Maneesha Mukhi:
Step two is completing and filing Form N-400. This is the main form and the first step in
the citizenship process. There are two ways to do this. You can either complete the form online or
you may fill it out in its paper form and mail it in with your supporting documents. If you want us to create a video that walks
through Form N-400 step-by-step, write 400 in the comments and let us know. Maneesha Mukhi:
So how much does it cost to become a U.S. citizen? The filing fee for Form N-400 is $640 and
your biometrics fee for your fingerprinting is $85, bringing you to a total of $725. If you choose to work with an attorney, there’ll
be additional legal fees to be paid directly to the attorney. So how long does it take to become a U.S.
citizen? The average processing time for Form N-400
was 10 months this past year. However, your timeline may be shorter or longer
depending on where your reside and which field office is handling your application. Additionally, you’ll spend some time waiting
on your citizenship interview, test and oath ceremony. So all in all, expect to wait about 10 to
20 months and even a little more in some States. Maneesha Mukhi:
Step three is attending your biometrics appointment. Once your application has been accepted, you’ll
receive an appointment notice in the mail with the location and date of your fingerprinting
appointment. This notice usually arrives two to three weeks
after filing with an appointment date that is another one to two weeks out. Be sure to take this notice with you to your
appointment. Maneesha Mukhi:
Step four is attending your citizenship interview. After your fingerprinting, the USCIS will
assign you an interview date. This can be anywhere from 10 to 14 months
after filing your naturalization application. As I mentioned before, the timeline really
depends on the field office assigned to your case, which depends on where you reside. Maneesha Mukhi:
At this interview, the officer will conduct the citizenship test, review your application,
and clarify any issues. There are two parts to the naturalization
test, the English test and the civics test. As part of the civics test, you will be asked
10 questions of which you have to get six correct. These 10 questions are drawn from a bank of
100 questions which you can study beforehand. As for the English test, when I went through
the citizenship process recently, I was given one sentence to read and then write as well. If you pass the test, the officer will recommend
that your application be approved. When I attended my test, I received a sheet
of paper, like the one you see on the screen, that had my interview results. Maneesha Mukhi:
If your application is denied, you will receive a letter in the mail explaining the grounds
for denial or the officer may tell you on the spot. Common reasons applicants are denied, include
failure to pay taxes or the inability to demonstrate continuous presence in the U.S. or failing
the civics or English tests. Maneesha Mukhi:
Step five is being sworn in at an oath ceremony as a U.S. citizen. Soon after your interview, you will receive
an appointment notice with the details of your oath ceremony. This is the moment you become a U.S. citizen
and take the Oath of Allegiance. At the end of the ceremony, you will receive
your naturalization certificate, which is proof of your U.S. citizenship. Maneesha Mukhi:
Now you know exactly what to do to file your naturalization application. But what if you have prior arrests or unpaid
taxes or supporting documents that are not in English? I’ve created a special guide just for you
that includes a document checklist and bonus tips to save you time. Be sure to check out the link in the description
below. Maneesha Mukhi:
If you found this video helpful, hit the like button, subscribe to our channel and share
it with your fellow immigrants. That’s all for today. Thanks for tuning in and see you in the next


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