Many foreign workers seek employment in the U.S. aiming to become legal United States citizens. To achieve this, you have to go through naturalization, your eligibility for which depends on specific circumstances. This article highlights how to accomplish that and the benefits of doing so.
What Are The Eligibility Conditions?
When you can apply for naturalization depends on whether you possess a green card, how long you’ve been in the U.S., and whether you’ve served in the military. The average green card holder who’s physically been in the United States for 30 months can apply after five years. It’s the same for anyone with under a year of peacetime military service. Those who’ve served during wartime, though, can apply for naturalization at any time. The U.S. Citizenship And Immigration Services website has more information on eligibility requirements and application wait times.
What Does The Naturalization Process Entail?
Once you’ve fulfilled the eligibility criteria, you can fill out an N-400 form. It’s worth hiring an immigration lawyer to ensure that everything is completed accurately and avoid delays or rejection of your citizenship application.
You’ll later be scheduled for an interview, and if everything is approved, you’ll then take an oath of allegiance. Doing this at a naturalization ceremony is how you officially become a United States citizen.
What Are The Benefits Of Naturalization?
– Voting In Elections
As a legal citizen, you have the power to shape the U.S. government. Naturalization allows you to vote at federal, state, and local levels, ensuring your voice is heard. Trying to vote in federal elections as a non-citizen currently holds the risk of fines, imprisonment, or deportation. The latter is a punishment that can’t be applied once you become a legal citizen.
– Bringing Family Overseas
After naturalization, you also gain priority regarding bringing loved ones into the United States. It’s much easier for the partners and children of overseas workers to become permanent residents of the U.S. through family-based immigration. The K-3 visa, K-1 fiancé/fiancée visa, and the I-130 family petition are all designed to help with this.
– Gaining Government Employment
U.S. citizenship is essential for government jobs, which you can learn about and apply for here. They may require experience that wasn’t possible to gain while employed on a green card.
– Achieving Positions Of Power
All U.S. presidential candidates must be born in the United States. However, members of the Senate and the House of Representatives can be naturalized foreigners. The former requires nine years of citizenship, while the latter requires seven.
– Receiving U.S. Help Overseas
Naturalization entitles you to a U.S. passport, meaning you can receive government assistance overseas. Naturalization is essential for anyone working in the U.S. with long-term plans. It increases your rights while reducing potential risks.