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Immigration Lawyer Peoria Illinois

How to Apply for Citizenship in the United States

If you are looking to become a citizen of the United States after obtaining your green card, you may want to work with an immigration lawyer Peoria IL offers to help you with your application process. Obtaining citizenship after you’ve received your green card is called naturalization and it is a process with strict eligibility and application requirements. If you have any questions about the process or the requirements, contact your Peoria IL family lawyer at Smith & Weer, P.C. at 309-628-0338 today.

What Are the Eligibility Requirements to Apply for Citizenship?

An immigration lawyer in Peoria IL may be able to help you determine how each eligibility requirement applies to you, but the following guidelines may give you a general idea of what to expect:

  • You’ve been a lawful permanent resident for five or more years, you are a refugee, you’ve been offered asylum, or your spouse is a U.S. citizen.
  • You’ve continuously lived in the United States for at least five years before applying for citizenship and during that time, you didn’t spend more than a year outside of the U.S.
  • You’ve spent at least half of the required five years before filing physically present in the United States.
  • You’ve lived in the state (or district) from where you’re filing for three or more months.
  • You’re 18 years old or older.
  • You’re of good moral character.
  • You can speak, write, and read in English (an immigration lawyer Peoria IL residents trust may inform you of certain exceptions for age and medical disabilities).
  • You can pass a citizenship test that covers government and U.S. history (exceptions may be made for medical disabilities).
  • You can swear that you believe in the U.S. Constitution and its principles and will be loyal to the United States.

What Is the Application Process for United States Citizenship?

An immigration lawyer Peoria IL depends on may tell you that you may fill out an application, called the USCIS Form N-400, to begin your citizenship request after you’ve obtained a green card and met the above criteria.

You may send that application form with any required photos, a copy of your green card, and any fees to your local USCIS office. Once your documents are received, you may be called in a few months after filing for an appointment to get fingerprinted and/or for an interview.

During an interview, the USCIS officer may test your abilities with the English language and ask you a series of questions about the history and government of the United States. If you pass the test, you may receive an appointment for the swearing-in ceremony.

The swearing-in ceremony is the official process in which you’ll become a United States citizen and receive a certificate of naturalization.

Contact a Top Immigration Lawyer Peoria IL Can Provide

As you can see, becoming a U.S. citizen can be a long and difficult process, but it’s nothing you can’t handle. If you need help filling out the required forms or learning about the requirements, contact an immigration lawyer Peoria IL trusts at Smith & Weer, P.C. at 309-628-0338 today.