How Long Does it Officially Take to Become a U.S. Citizen?

Updated: Feb 18

Today we will take a close look at some of the steps that you have to complete if you want to be eligible for naturalization, or becoming a U.S. citizen. By understanding the steps involved, you may be able to form an idea of how long it will take to complete the process from start to finish. We know you're eager, and it's okay to be - because this is something to look forward to!

The Path to Citizenship

There are many steps involved in the naturalization process. Here is an outline of them, from start to finish, as put in place by the USCIS.

- Determine if you could already be qualified as a citizen. Were you born as a citizen in the U.S. or at least one of your parents is a U.S. citizen? Even if you are not recognized as a citizen but you meet this requirement, you may be able to file for a Certificate of Citizenship based on the fact that they went through the process.

- Determine whether or not you can actually become a U.S. citizen based on the requirements that you must meet. You have to be at least 18 years old and have been a resident for 5 years. Of course, there are many other requirements as well.

- Work with your attorney to prepare the Form N-400, which is the Application for Naturalization. You want to ensure that you collect all documents to prove that you are eligible.

- Submit your application, which includes all necessary documents, fees, and passport-style photographs (only if you are in foreign country).

- You will then be required to go to a biometrics appointment if applicable in your case. This means that you will be fingerprinted and photographed so that criminal background checks can take place.

- Wait until you hear more about your interview, and then ensure that you complete your interview in time. You do not want to miss your USCIS interview, because it could render you ineligible. You don't want to have to reschedule, either, because it could add months onto your application process.

- From here, you will receive a decision on your application. They will tell you if your request to become a citizen has been granted or denied, based on eligibility and how you did on the civics test and more.

As you can see, you should not expect this to be a process that takes place without complications. It can also be quite time-consuming, which is why you want to get started as soon as possible.

You should always expect that it would take more than just a few short weeks to a few short months to get the results you need to move forward. In fact, many people know from experience that the U.S. citizenship process can even take a few years! This is because, if you are just starting out in the U.S., you will have to meet the permanent residency of 5 years, which takes time in itself. If you have established residency, most of the time you will find that it could take anywhere from 6 months to a whole year. This is why you should get started on the process as soon as possible when it is important to you. At the Sky Law Firm, we are here for you when you need it the most. We care about your citizenship process and want to help you get the best results. Call us today for more information at 657-500-0011.