When you seek naturalization, you will go to an interview conducted by a USCIS officer. You will be asked about your background and application in the interview. Afterward, you will also have to pass the naturalization test, which covers two main categories. You will be given a civics and English test. The civics test encompasses your understanding of United States history and government. The English test shows your knowledge of the language, including the ability to read, write, and speak. A nationwide immigration law firm can help guide you through the naturalization process.
How Should I Prepare for Naturalization?
The best way to prepare for your naturalization test is to begin studying immediately. You could work with a citizenship attorney to ensure you have the materials you need to learn. The USCIS will provide some study materials, but you can take additional steps. Starting early is critical because it gives you ample time to find areas where you need more help.
Many applicants find it beneficial to read children’s books since it is an excellent introduction to the phrases that will likely come up on the naturalization test. Some people are visual learners and find watching and listening to English a better option. Watching programs in English or listening to an audiobook or music can also help pick up on phrases.
Working with a study partner is also beneficial since you can practice what you studied. You can also take a practice test and have a friend review your answers. Take notes and use flashcards to help you remember your civics answers. Do not rush. Instead, take your time and study in spurts. This can help you grasp the information better.
How Long Does it Take to Get My Naturalization Certificate?
The timeline for the naturalization process is ten months – and longer! During this time, you will submit documentation, and the government will review your application for a green card. Some of the steps in the naturalization process include:
- Submitting Form N-400
- Attending a biometrics appointment
- Citizenship interview and exam
- Receiving an application decision
- Taking the Oath of Allegiance
- Receiving your Certificate of Citizenship
The time between passing your exam and getting your certificate can be hours if approved. Sometimes, the USCIS can schedule your oath and certificate within two to six weeks. You can only receive the certificate once you pledge your oath. The ten months is estimated as the process can be longer or shorter. Various factors can impact how long the process takes, including your place of residence. Having a green card lawyer can also help you get your naturalization certificate.
What Should I Do After Getting My Naturalization Certificate?
Once you receive your certificate, you are officially a United States citizen. However, you should take some crucial steps once you take your oath and get your certificate. You will want to register to vote and update your Social Security records. Another beneficial step is to apply for a United States passport. These steps are separate from the naturalization process. However, they are essential if you want to vote, file taxes, and travel internationally. Immigration law can be complex, and you should work with an immigration law firm that can help you through the entire process.
Can I Get a U.S. Passport Without My Naturalization Certificate?
Typically, you cannot get a U.S. passport without your naturalization certificate. This is one of the most important documents you may apply for as a citizen, and there are strict qualifications for who can apply. The first way to be eligible for a passport is to be a U.S. citizen. Next, you may meet the requirements as a green card holder. You might qualify for a passport if you were born outside the United States, but your parents are citizens.
Lastly, if you are the child or spouse of the U.S. military who meets the requirements under section 328 or 329 of the Immigration and Nationality Act. In that case, you can also apply. Green card holders get many of the same benefits as citizens, with a few exceptions. One of those is renewing residence documents every ten years. Citizens do not have to participate in this process, but permanent residents do. General requirements of a passport include:
- 30 months within the last five years in the United States
- Over the age of 18
- Willingness to take the Oath of Allegiance
- You have not broken any laws and therefore demonstrate good moral character
- Continuous residence and physical presence in the country
What is the Most Challenging Question on the Citizenship Test?
The citizenship test can be challenging for everyone. Many people agree that the hardest question on the test is the one that asks you to name the writers of the Federalist Papers that supported the passage of the U.S. Constitution. This question is difficult since many American-born citizens do not know the answer. Another issue is that in 1824, the Federalist Party stopped existing. It is not often taught at U.S. schools or is barely mentioned.
What is the Hardest Part of Naturalization?
While there are various steps to the naturalization process, the hardest part is the naturalization test and in-person interview. A lot of weight is put on this test, and it can be instrumental in whether someone is approved. It tests the applicant’s ability to speak, write, and read English. It also tests the person on U.S. history and government. Nerves can make this challenging, as can learning the language.
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Areas of Immigration Law:
- Naturalization (Citizenship) Application
- Immigrant Relative Petitions
- Fiancé Visa Applications
- Adjustment of Status and Consular Processing
- Criminal Consequences and Deportation Defense
- Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Application
- Special Immigrant Juvenile Status
- Green Card Renewals
- Temporary Work Visas
- Temporary Protected Status
- Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals