Who can get US Citizenship?
It is possible to become a US citizen by birth or later in life through marriage or naturalisation. To receive the status of a US citizen by birth, you need to meet one of the following requirements:
- Be born in the US or territories that fall under the jurisdiction of the US
- Be born in a different country to at least one parent who is a US citizen.
If these statements do not apply to you, maybe you can become a US citizen by naturalisation. This is a process in which a person who is a citizen of a foreign country but has been living in the US as a permanent resident for several years chooses to become a citizen of the US. Naturalisation is the most common way for foreign citizens to ascertain US citizenship.
Alternatively, if you get married to a US citizen, you might be able to apply for US citizenship after three years of living in the country as a permanent resident. During this qualifying period, you have to remain in a relationship with your spouse.
What are the requirements to apply for US citizenship by naturalisation?
If you are a UK Citizen wanting to become a US Citizen by naturalisation, you need to meet the following requirements:
- Be eighteen years of age or older
- Have been living in the US as a permanent resident for at least five years prior to submitting the citizenship application (three years if you are married to a US Citizen)
- Be able to prove that you spent at least thirty months in the US during the five years
- Be able to prove that you spent at least three months living in the same state or USCIS district
- Be able to prove that you are of good moral character
- Have a good command of the English language
- Successfully pass the test about US culture and history
- Demonstrate your commitment to following the values and democratic principles outlined in the Constitution of the US
- Take an Oath of Allegiance to the US.
What are the requirements to apply for US citizenship by marriage?
If you are a UK citizen who got married to a US citizen, you might be able to apply for US citizenship by marriage. Those who are in the US on the IR1/CR1 Visa, known as the Spouse Green Card can apply for US citizenship after having spent three years in the US as permanent residents.
To be eligible for US citizenship by marriage, you need to meet the following criteria:
- Be 18 years of age or older
- Be legally married to a person who has US citizenship.
- Have been living in the US as a permanent resident for at least three years.
- Intend to remain married after receiving US citizenship
- Have a good command of the English language
- Be of good moral character
- Be able to pass the test about US culture, traditions, and history
- Demonstrate your respect for the principles and values of the US Constitution.
If you are not sure whether you meet the criteria for US citizenship, talk to our immigration lawyers. They will assess your eligibility and will help you submit your application.
How can UK citizens apply for US citizenship?
If you and your immigration lawyer determine that you meet the eligibility requirements for US citizenship, you can initiate the application process.
The first step is to complete and sign Form N-400, Application for Naturalization. In addition to the form, you will also have to submit a number of documents that prove your eligibility for US citizenship.
After submitting the form you need to schedule your biometrics appointment during which your fingerprints, photos, and signatures will be collected.
Then, you have to attend an interview and pass the exams that test your knowledge of the English language, as well as the history, culture, and traditions of the US. USCIS will send you a letter with the proposed date and location of your interview. If the date does not suit you, you can choose a different one and reschedule the appointment.
After the interview, USCIS will need up to four months to communicate its decision. Once they make a decision, you will receive Form N-652, Notice of Examination Results.
If your US citizenship application is approved, you will have to attend your Oath of Allegiance ceremony. It will take place two to six weeks after you receive the decision from USCIS. All individuals applying for US citizenship must attend the ceremony. Otherwise, their application will be considered invalid and they will not be able to become US citizens.
What documents do UK citizens need to include in their application?
As a part of the US citizenship application process, all UK citizens need to prepare and submit a number of supporting documents. These include:
- Proof of your permanent resident status
- A receipt for the application fee
- Proof of your current marital status
- Proof of legal marriage (if you are applying via the marriage route)
- Evidence of your spouse’s US citizenship (if you are applying via the marriage route)
- Two passport size photographs
- Proof of your continuous residence in the US.
To make sure you include all the required documents, seek assistance from one of our immigration lawyers. The failure to submit some of them can significantly delay your application.
What is the processing time of US citizenship applications?
UK citizens applying for US citizenship have to be ready to wait a long while before receiving the decision. On average, the processing of applications for US citizenship takes around one year. Sometimes, the process can take longer than that as it involves several steps. These steps are:
- Processing of Form N-400, Application for Naturalization – takes around ten months
- Biometrics appointment – the waiting time for it varies
- Citizenship interview – the waiting time for it is around four months
- Waiting for a decision letter – takes up to four months
- Attending the Oath of Allegiance ceremony and officially receiving your US citizenship – the waiting time is up to 2 months.
Taking all these steps into consideration, it may take as long as two years to receive US citizenship.
How can Total Law help?
Applying for US citizenship can be a complex process. To avoid mistakes that could delay your application or lead to it being denied, contact our immigration lawyers for help. Thanks to their expert help, you can increase the chances of a positive outcome.
Our lawyers will guide you through the whole process and will be around to answer any questions you might have. They will also check all the forms and documents you are submitting to make sure you have completed them correctly.
In case of any delays, our lawyers will liaise with USCIS and make sure the whole process is stress-free for you.
To find out more about how our lawyers can help, call us today on 0333 305 9375.
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The total cost of becoming a US citizen is $725. This cost is made up of $640 for the processing of your citizenship application and $85 for the biometrics appointment. These fees are non-refundable, which means that even if your application is rejected, you will have to pay them.
The most common reason making people ineligible for US citizenship is having previously been convicted of a crime. Not all crimes deprive you of the chance to become a US citizen but many do as they contradict the condition of having to be of a good moral character.
If you are not sure whether you are eligible for US citizenship, talk to our immigration lawyers. They will carefully analyse your situation and will let you know whether something can disqualify you from becoming a US citizen.
As part of your application for US citizenship, you have to pass a test that comprises two parts. These are:
- An English language test, which tests your writing, speaking, and reading skills
- An exam testing your knowledge of US history, culture, and political system.
If you hire one of our immigration lawyers, they will help you prepare for the exam.
Generally to be considered a person of a good moral character for US citizenship you should have:
- Not committed any serious crimes
- Not lied during the citizenship interview or any other part of the application process.
All applicants wanting to receive US citizenship have to be able to prove that they are a person of good moral character. If you cannot demonstrate that you meet this requirement, you will not be able to complete the naturalisation process.