What Is Naturalization?


For many immigrants to the United States, the journey doesn’t end upon arrival on US soil. Instead, it marks the beginning of a path toward citizenship through a process called naturalization. Naturalization is the legal process through which foreign nationals become US citizens. Once you become a naturalized citizen, you are granted all of the rights and privileges afforded to American citizens. What does naturalization mean?

What Are the Requirements to Become a Naturalized Citizen?

In order to be eligible to become a United States citizen, you need to satisfy a certain number of requirements. For example, you must be:

  • Over the age of 18
  • Of “good moral character”
  • Able to read, write, and speak basic English (sometimes not required depending on the age of the person)
  • Married to a US citizen, a lawful permanent resident of five years, a child of a US citizen, or an active duty or veteran US military service member

What Does the Naturalization Process Look Like?

The naturalization process starts when you file Form N-400 Application for Naturalization with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). You can do this independently or with the assistance of your attorney. Along with the application, you are responsible for submitting supporting documents, like proof of your lawful permanent residence, evidence of continuous residence, and any required waivers. Once the USCIS gets your application, they will complete a background check, perform an interview, administer the civics and English tests, and review the application for final approval. You may also need to have a biometrics appointment that includes having your fingerprints and photographs taken.

What Happens If Your Application for Naturalization Is Approved?

Upon successful completion of the naturalization process, you will be granted U.S. citizenship and issued a Certificate of Naturalization. This document will be your proof of citizenship, and it gives you a variety of privileges granted to US citizens, including the ability to vote, obtain a passport, and potentially petition for family members to immigrate to the United States.

In the event that your application is designed, you have the opportunity to request a hearing to appeal the decision if you feel that it was incorrectly denied. Your attorney can work with you on your appeal to ensure that you have a strong case.

Partner with an Experienced Personal Immigration Attorney at The Law Office of Elizabeth Anu Lawrence

If you or a loved one are concerned about your hardship waiver application not being reviewed in a timely fashion, choose an experienced firm like the Law Office of Elizabeth Anu Lawrence to give you the help you need.  Please give us a call at 443.352.3201. Skype and telephone consultation are both available to clients.

Contact Us

    Law Office of Elizabeth Anu Lawrence, LLC.
  • Address: 90 Painters Mill Road Suite 201 Owings Mills, Maryland 21117
  • Phone: (443) 352-3201

  • Email: info@elawrencelaw.com

Follow Us