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3 common questions about naturalization

On Behalf of Palacios Law Group

Naturalization is the process by which people who were born in other countries can become citizens of the United States. If you successfully complete the 10-step naturalization process, you become an American citizen, with all the same rights and privileges as people born here.

Nevertheless, naturalization is a complex process. You have to meet eligibility requirements to gain citizenship. Here are answers to some of the questions you may have about the process of naturalization.

1. What is the green card requirement?

A green card is a credential that shows you are a lawful permanent resident of the United States. You may be eligible to apply for citizenship after you have had your green card for five years. According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, you must have a valid proof of your status as a lawful permanent resident at all times. Therefore, if you have applied for naturalization and your green card is expiring, you should renew it.

2. What are the other eligibility requirements?

In addition to having had a valid green card for at least five years, you must fill out an Application for Naturalization, also referred to officially as Form N-400. You must also be able to demonstrate knowledge of civics and understanding of written and spoken English through a series of written and oral tests. Depending on your circumstances, it may be possible to request accommodations or exemptions from testing requirements.

3. What if you do not pass one of the naturalization tests?

If you do not pass a portion of the naturalization tests, either civics or English, you have the opportunity to take the test again within 60 to 90 days. You get two attempts to pass both portions of the test, after which you have to start the application process all over again.

Every time to submit a Form N-400, you have to pay a filing fee. However, there is no limit to the number of times you can apply for naturalization as a lawful permanent resident.

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