How Hard Is It To Get US Citizenship?

Getting US citizenship is not quick and it is not easy. Not everybody is eligible to apply for US citizenship and it can be a very long process to get US citizenship, regardless of how you qualify. Before you can apply for US citizenship, you must first have a green card and be a legal permanent citizen of the US.

There is strict criteria as to who is able to apply for a green card and the main ways to get a green card are through having a relative that is a US citizen, being employed for a highly skilled job by a US employer, getting married to a US citizen or making a large investment in a commercial business in the US.

Getting a green card is the main barrier to becoming a US citizenship and there is a lot of criteria that must be met for a green card to be approved.

How Hard is it to Become a US citizen?

If you have a green card then becoming a US citizen is a good likelihood. Around 700,000 people each year are approved to become US citizens. The key eligibility is:

  • You are aged 18 or over
  • You are a green card holder
  • You have lived in US for five years (or three if you’re married to a US citizen)

How to Apply for US Citizenship?

The next step is to fill in the Form N-400 Application for Naturalization. There is a fee of $725 to apply for US citizenship, although raising this fee up to $1,170 has been proposed, so it could cost a lot more in the future.

The Naturalization Process

Once you have submitted the form, along with the requested documents and passport photos, you should receive an invitation to a biometrics appointment where your finger prints and photographs will be taken. The FBI will perform background checks on applicants, in conjunction with the Department of Homeland Security's checks.

Interview for US Citizenship

The next part of the naturalization process is to have an interview and an exam. The interview involves the testing of English language, in reading, writing and speaking. The exam will usually involve around 10 questions, which have been selected from a set list of 100, so applicants can prepare for the exam by revising the questions and answers. The questions are on topics such as history, government and geography of the US. If you fail the exam, you can sit it one more time before your US citizenship will get denied.

Taking the US Citizenship Oath

If the applicant passes the interview and exam process, then they will be approved for becoming a US citizen. The last stage is then to take the oath of allegiance to the United States, which happens in a public ceremony and then they receive their Certificate of Naturalization.

Becoming a US citizen has become more difficult recently due to Coronavirus lockdown restrictions, as well as policy changes introduced by the Trump administration, with the processing time now taking much longer than previously and the proposed fee price hikes make it even harder for people to become US citizens.












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