How Long Does It Take To Become a US Citizen?
It can take several months to become a US citizen. You have to apply, have an interview, and swear an oath of allegiance.10 min read
Becoming a US citizen is a fantastic achievement but often involves patience and persistence. The good news is that the citizenship application process has become more efficient in recent years. Still, it can take several months to complete all the steps required for the naturalization process: applying for citizenship, attending an interview, and swearing an oath of allegiance (if the USCIS grants you one).
How long does it take to become a US citizen? We'll go over the basics about how long it takes to get US citizenship so that you can see what's involved in this process—and estimate how long you might be waiting for your chance at becoming a US citizen.
Citizenship Processing Time
The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will process your application when you apply for US citizenship. USCIS is an agency within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and handles all applications for naturalization or any other immigration benefit received by USCIS.
The USCIS processing times for citizenship applications can vary depending on the eligibility criteria and the complexity of your case. Still, generally, it takes between 12-18 months before you receive a final decision from USCIS on your case. There are exceptions to this general rule. However, if there are issues with the information on your application, it may take longer than 18 months to process it.
For example, if the USCIS needs to issue a Request for Evidence (RFE) or Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID), it may take longer than 18 months. The USCIS typically issues an RFE when there is incomplete or missing information in the application. You can also get it when there is conflicting information that needs clarification. The USCIS generally estimates processing times for immigration applications.
However, these estimates are not always accurate and may change depending on the agency's current workload. Therefore, it is best to check with an immigration visa lawyer or other qualified legal professionals to help you fast-track your application process.
How Long Does It Take To Become a US Citizen?
Becoming a United States citizen can take a long time, depending on your circumstances. Depending on your circumstances, it may take a few months to several years (even ten years) to complete the naturalization application process. There are many different ways you can become a US citizen, and each one requires slightly different documentation and forms that must be submitted with specific deadlines and can take additional time to process.
The quickest way to become a US citizen is through birth or adoption by at least one US citizen parent, which requires no waiting period and can be completed immediately after applying for naturalization. Individuals who have served in the US military for at least three years can apply for citizenship immediately after completing their service and must submit only an application form, fee, and proof of good moral character (for example, a letter from their commanding officer).
The fastest way to naturalize is by green card marriage. Individuals married to US citizens for at least three years can apply for citizenship immediately after their wedding. They must submit proof of their marriage and interview with an immigration officer within six months of filing.
People who are not married can also apply for citizenship, but it may take longer than three years. To apply for citizenship, you must be at least 18 years old and have lived in the United States as a permanent resident for at least five years (three if you're married).
You must also be able to speak, read, write and understand English; pass a history test covering your knowledge of US government and society; pass a civics test on American history; be willing to swear allegiance to the United States, and pay the application fees.
Cost to Become a US Citizen
If you're applying for citizenship, you'll need to pay a filing fee of $640. You may also have to pay an additional $85 for biometric services and background check fees. This one-time fee covers your application, fingerprinting, and any background checks. The filing fee is non-refundable, but you can pay online when you make an online application or through a personal check, money order, or cashier's check when you file your N-400 offline.
If you are 75 years old or older, USCIS waives the biometric services fee but not the filing fee. On the other hand, military applicants qualify for an exception under Section 328 or 329 of INA and do not have to pay a filing fee for the N-400. For more information, see the USCIS website.
You will also need to consider the immigration attorney's fee when you file your N-400. The price of an immigration lawyer will vary depending on the attorney's experience and expertise with that particular immigration law. An experienced immigration attorney can help you save time and money by ensuring that your application is submitted correctly.
Are There Ways to Speed Up the Application Process?
There are a few ways to speed up the application process. First, you can get your application in as early as possible. If you are a spouse of a US citizen, you can apply for citizenship as soon as you enter the US Next, make sure that all your documents are ready to go when you submit your application package to USCIS.
Make sure you have all the necessary documents, such as birth certificates and marriage licenses, to process your application quickly. Finally, be patient and allow yourself ample time to get through each step of the process before moving on to the next one.
Do not make any mistakes on your application, such as writing down the wrong mailing address or misspelling your name. If you make a mistake, USCIS may send your application back and ask you to submit it again. This will cause delays in processing your case.
If you have any questions about your application or need help with the process, you can consult a professional immigration attorney. They can assist with every step of filing for a green card and help you avoid making mistakes that will delay your case.
Check Your Application Status
If you have applied for citizenship and are wondering how long it will take, there are many ways you can check the status of your application. The first way is to visit the ministry of foreign affairs website. There, you will find a section where you can check the status of your application. You will need your passport number and date of birth to access this information. If you do not have these details, you can still check the status of your application by contacting the embassy or consulate in person or by mail.
You can also check the status of your application by calling the embassy or consulate. You can contact the general number and ask to speak to a citizenship officer. Your application will likely be rejected if you do not receive an interview call. If you have already had an interview but still have no decision, then the embassy or consulate may still be processing your application. The embassy or consulate may require further documents from you or more time to process the information you have already provided.
If you are applying for citizenship, it is essential to remember that the embassy or consulate will not decide on your application until they process all your documents.
What Are the Application Steps for US Citizenship?
The application process for US citizenship differs from that of a green card or visa, but it also requires you to submit several documents and pay a fee. As with other applications, you must submit certain documents, such as proof of identity and background check results. Once the embassy or consulate has processed your application, they will forward it to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for review.
Complete the Form N-400
The process of applying for US citizenship begins with completing Form N-400, which is available on the Department of Homeland Security's website. You must submit this form and supporting documentation proving your citizenship and identity eligibility. A third party (such as an attorney) can submit the application by hand to the appropriate office on your behalf, or you can do it in person if you live near one of these centers.
Submit your application at any time during your eligibility period. However, it's best to submit your application as soon as possible because this will give you plenty of time for USCIS to review it and ensure everything is correct before deciding whether you qualify for citizenship.
You must also provide proof of your eligibility for US citizenship using documents such as:
- Your birth certificate
- Your passport
- Proof that you have lived continuously in the United States since June 15th, 2007 (for example, driver's license showing a physical residential address in the United States
- Proof of your work history (if applicable)
- Proof that you have paid all taxes owed to the US government
- Proof of your military service (if applicable)
Once you have submitted all required documents, USCIS will review them and issue a decision.
Provide Biometric Information
Once USCIS has approved your application, they will send it to the US Department of State (DOS). The DOS will then schedule an appointment for you to provide biometric information (such as fingerprints and photographs) at a local application support center (ASC).
When you receive the USCIS notice of action (Form I-797C), it will state an appointment date for you to take your biometrics and the Application Support Center (ASC) or Designated Facility (D.F.) to visit.
The ASC/DF will schedule your biometrics appointment about one month after receiving your citizenship application. It's best to call the ASC/DF before going there, so you know its location and how long it will take to get there. Ensure that your SCIS appointment letter specifies when and where you are required to undergo biometric scanning.
Attend Your US Citizenship Interview
After you have attended your biometrics appointment and provided your fingerprints, the USCIS will schedule an interview. The interview is a chance to prove that you are eligible for US citizenship by providing information about yourself and your family's history in America. During the interview, you'll need to prove that:
- You've legally been living in the US for at least three to five years.
- You have good moral character.
- You can read, write and speak English.
- You are knowledgeable about the US government and history.
- You are willing to take an oath of allegiance to the United States.
If you can prove that you meet these requirements, USCIS may approve your application for US citizenship and schedule a naturalization ceremony. The citizenship interview takes place 14 months after you apply. When you receive your SCIS letter, check the date and location of your interview and any documents they ask for.
To become a citizen, you must pass a test. The citizenship exam—which covers English and civics questions—is usually administered on the same day as your interview. Failure to pass the exam does not mean you cannot become a citizen. You may have to re-sit for the exam 60 -90 days later. If you fail a second time, USCIS may revoke your application.
Ensure that you can attend the interview and exam on the correct date and time. If you cannot participate, contact USCIS immediately to reschedule. If you fail to do this and miss a rescheduled interview, then USCIS may "pause" the processing of your application.
If you fail to respond within one year of being notified that your application is on hold, USCIS will deny your application. You must apply (and pay all fees again) if you want to try again.
The Application Decision
Once your citizenship interview is complete, the USCIS will review your application and make a decision. The decision follows 120 days after your interview (but this can vary). You'll receive Form N-652 (the "Notice of Examination Results") that gives you an overview of the decision: whether approved, continued, or denied your application. The USCIS may put your application on hold if you did not pass the citizenship test or forgot to include important information in your paperwork.
If denied, you can appeal the decision 30 days after receiving your denial letter. USCIS will schedule a hearing within 180 days if necessary. An attorney can help with this process if you still have questions about why they denied it in the first place!
Once your citizenship application is approved, you'll receive a letter notifying you of your application approval. You will be issued a Certificate of Citizenship and sent a letter explaining how and when to take the oath of allegiance.
Oath of Allegiance
You are not yet a US citizen until you take the Oath of Allegiance at a naturalization ceremony. The Oath of Allegiance ceremony may take place 2 to 6 weeks after the interview, depending on the jurisdiction where you live. You will receive Form N-445 ("Notice of Naturalization Oath Ceremony") via mail beforehand so that you know when and where to show up for your oath-taking ceremony and any other pertinent information about what will happen during this important day in your life. You may bring a witness, preferably one of your family members or friends, to apply for naturalization.
The ceremony usually happens at a local courthouse or other government building. After you take the Oath of Allegiance in front of an official from USCIS, they will hand you your certificate—the document that proves you are now an American citizen!
If you cannot attend your naturalization ceremony, return Form N-445 and ask USCIS to reschedule the event. If you miss your ceremony more than once, the immigration official may deny your application and require you to reapply.
What To Do After Getting your Citizenship
Congratulations! You are now a US citizen and have all the rights and responsibilities that come with it. You can vote, serve on a jury, and apply for jobs that require citizenship. Some unique benefits are available exclusively to citizens, such as travel without visas or passports and protection from deportation by another country's government.
Now that the application process is complete, there are several things you need to finalize before you can begin enjoying the benefits of citizenship. First, you will need to get a national identification card or number. This will allow you to access government services, prove your citizenship, and be ready for certain types of employment. You'll also want to register for voting and tax purposes. Finally, take advantage of the opportunities and benefits available now, such as healthcare and education. The United States is a country that has always welcomed immigrants from all over the world.
If you are looking for a new home and want to become an American citizen, there is no better time than now. Take advantage of this opportunity to create a bright future for yourself and your family by applying today!
Becoming a US citizen is a fantastic achievement but often involves patience and persistence. It takes a lot of time to become a citizen, so don't be discouraged if you start the process and don't get through it immediately.
It depends on how quickly the government processes your application, including how many other people are applying for citizenship at the same time as you or soon after you do. The government has limited resources to process applications, so there will never be enough personnel to process them all at once.
It can take 12 months or more than 18 months for USCIS to process most citizenship cases, but if you hire an attorney specializing in immigration law, they may help you speed up this time frame. There are many different ways to apply for citizenship. You can also check with your local USCIS field offices to determine their procedures.