Citizenship and Naturalization: What are the steps involved? Immigration Lawyer in California


Hi, my name is Jacob Sapochnick and I’m an
immigration attorney based in San Diego, California. We’ve done several videos about the citizenship
process, the qualifications, and the requirements. But in this particular video, I wanted to
explain exactly what happens when you apply for citizenship. We get a lot of questions from our clients
and our website visitors wanting to know exactly what is involved once you actually filed for
citizenship. Well, first of all, before the person is going
to file for citizenship, they need to verify whether they qualify. And we’ve done several videos about the qualifications. I’m not going to cover them now. Once you determine that you qualify, the first
thing you have to do is complete the N-400 application form. It’s a pretty complex application because
it involves several elements. First of all, they want to verify your biographic
information, whether you actually reside in the jurisdiction, in the US before applying
for your application. And another element of that form questions
your physical and continuous presence in the US. They will ask you about your trips in the
US, outside of the US. They will ask you about the length of time
where you resided in the actual location to determine whether you met those requirements. Another important part of that form is your
criminal background. If a person commits any crimes, if a person
was convicted of any felonies, violations of law. They want to determine whether you meet the
moral character required for citizenship. And those are things that are part of the
qualifications, but it’s also on that form. And finally, the form will allow you to change
your name. So, if you have a desire to change your name
from your current name, you will be able to do it on that form for free. And also verify that at an interview with
the officer. So once you’ve completed the form and you
pay the filing fee… the current filing fee is $680 as of November 2012. Once you pay the filing fee, you mail the
application to the correct location, to the USCIS and it’s clearly indicated on the form
where to mail it. The next step, once the application is filed,
immigration will send the applicant an invitation to appear for a biometrics appointment. In that appointment, they will take your fingerprints,
they take a picture and they’re going to check whether you have any violations that will
preclude you from becoming a US citizen. After the biometrics appointment, the next
step that is going to be is the appointment for the actual test. Now, a very important thing that will happen
in the biometrics appointment is that you will actually receive a packet with a CD from
the government. It will contain all the questions for your
interview and you’ll be able to study for it. Once you study for the interview, you get
the appointment for the actual interview. Probably a couple of months after your fingerprints
appointment. At the interview, the officer will go through
the form, verify the information is correct, ask you a few questions about the form, verify
that there’s nothing has changed since you applied. And if something has changed, you have to
absolutely verify that and then they’ll administer the test. The test consists of a written test of one
sentence to verify your writing English, verbal tests, asking questions, 10 questions. From the list of questions you have to answer
six correct. And also they’re gonna verify your level of
English. Once you pass the test, the officer will tell
you, you passed and they’re going to give you a confirmation that you’ve passed. The next step will be the oath ceremony. Typically, it happens a month after the interview
or when the next available oath ceremony depending on every state and city. And that’s it. So once you schedule for the oath ceremony,
you show up, you take the oath. And at that moment, you surrender the green
card and you get a certificate of naturalization. On that day, you’re able to apply for a US
passport and start your life as a US citizen. If you have any questions about this process
or any confusion, feel free to email us or give us a call and wish you all the best in
your citizenship application.

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