April 5, 2010: Requirements for Citizenship
Requirements for Citizenship
I am a Canadian Citizen who is married to an American Citizen. I have a green card and I would like to know how and where I should go to get sworn in as an American citizen.
Lawful permanent residents (i.e. green card holders) do not automatically get sworn in and become United States citizens. Rather, lawful permanent residents must make an affirmative effort to become a U.S. citizen by filing Form N-400, Application for Naturalization.
The applicant must fill out the N-400 completely with accurate and honest answers. The form has questions on it about your residential addresses and employment for the past five years, marital history, trips outside the United States, children, and arrest history, among many other questions.
At a minimum, you must include a filing fee check in the amount of $675.00 (current filing fee as of the date of this answer), a copy of your green card, and two passport style photographs. Depending on your specific case, you may be required to submit additional documentation. You will send the form and documentation to the appropriate address depending on your place of residence.
You will receive a receipt notice indicating that your application was received. You will then receive a Biometrics (fingerprint) appointment. You will then be scheduled for an interview at your local Field Office, the location of which is dependent on your zip code. At your appointment, the officer will go over your entire application, review your supporting documents (and originals, where necessary), and administer the government and civics and English tests. If everything is satisfactory, then you will be scheduled to be sworn in as a naturalized United States citizen.
Before you file for Naturalization, it may be wise to consult with an experienced immigration attorney to review your eligibility for citizenship and assist you with the process.
Michael Shane and Evan Shane, Immigration Attorneys