Lots of people want to move to the USA, because of a perception that it is a “land of opportunity”. Whether or not this is the case, or was ever the case, it has become much harder to enter the States in recent years. In the past, they were a country that proclaimed “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”. Now it seems to be a country hostile to immigrants, or at least this is the impression you get from American media and the political life. Despite this, plenty of people still wants to become a US citizens. Today we are going to break down what this takes so you can know how to become a US Citizen.
How To Become A US Citizen? – Marry One of Them!
It is the ambition of many young women around the world to marry a US citizen. Not for love mind you – for many, it is just to gain citizenship. Now, not all marriages are this cynical, but if you are a guy from the USA, be aware that this might be an angle for some girls. Not only girls I should say, but plenty of men will try this too. There are some basic things that need to be fulfilled first:
- The spouse must be an American citizen for at least 3 years.
- You have held a green card for 3 years.
- During this time, you have been living in marital union with this same US citizen.
How To Become A US Citizen – Join The United States Military.
During the height of their empire, Romans would grant citizenship to people who served their time under the Roman banner. It might not be too much of a stretch to compare this policy to the current policy in the USA.
To me, joining the military sounds a bit of a tougher gig than just marrying some yank. However, I suppose it shows patriotism which is what they like.
How To Become A US Citizen – Citizenship at Birth
This is subject to the following conditions:
- One parent is a US citizen at the time of birth. Your birth date is between October 10, 1952, and November 14, 1986. Also, your parents must be married at the time of your birth and the US parent has to have been physically present in the USA or its territories for at least 10 years prior to your birth.
- One of your parents is a US citizen at the time of your birth. Your D.O.B is after 1986 and your parents were married at the time of birth. The parent who was a US citizen had been present in the US for at least 5 years prior to the birth. 2 of these years must be after their 14th birthday.
- Both your parents are US citizens at the time of your birth. Your parents were married at the time of your birth and at least one was living in the USA or its territories prior to your birth.
So even being born in the States isn’t an automatic guarantee of citizenship. Things can get complicated fast with this!
Green Card Naturalization
So you don’t want to join the military, your marriage prospects aren’t good and you weren’t born in the USA? Well then, green card naturalization is how to become a US citizen for you.
So the green card, as you may know, is something you apply for as a migrant in the USA. It provides legal immigration status and the right to work for a certain period of time.
If you have successfully held a green card, for the last five years, then you can begin the process of naturalization that allows you to become a citizen!
Here’s the low down:
- You need to be at least 18 years old to begin the application process.
- You have to have lived in your current place of residence in the States for at least 3 months.
- For the last 5 years, you must have been continuously resident in the USA.
- Within those 5 years, you also need to show that you were physically present in the States for at least 30 months (at least half the time).
- Also, once you apply for naturalization, you have to stay in the US continuously until you are approved. So make sure to only apply when this is possible.
- You’ll need to prove you have a good standard of written and spoken English. You also need to have knowledge of the history and government of the US.
- They also stipulate that you have to be a “decent person”. This means a person of good moral character who stands for the principles of the American constitution.
The USA is the land of the Almighty Dollar, so of course applying for citizenship isn’t free.
To file your N-400 application form for naturalization costs $725 as of 2017 which includes the background check you have to submit.
There is no fee for military applications, and people over the age of 75 don’t have to pay the fee for the background check (biometrics fee).
USCIS, or the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, will now allow you to pay this fee by credit card, as they recognize that a lump some payment may be difficult for many immigrants.
Something many people are not aware of is that if you fill out the I-912 Request Fee Waiver form along with your application you may be eligible to have your fee waived.
People who have their fee waived will typically be receiving benefits of some kind such as SSI, LINK, TANF or Medicaid. Families that earn less than 150% of the federal poverty line are also likely to have fees waived.
I hope today’s article has been useful for those of you wondering how to become a US citizen. The number of people wondering how to become a US citizen is still as high as ever.
As long as it is perceived to be a land of opportunity I’m sure this will continue. I wish anyone applying the best luck in the world.
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