M-476 (rev. 01/09)
Table of Contents
Welcome What Are the Beneﬁts and Responsibilities of Citizenship? Frequently Asked Questions Who Is Eligible for Naturalization?
Table of Eligibility Requirements Time as a Permanent Resident Continuous Residence Physical Presence in the United States Time as a Resident in a USCIS District or State Good Moral Character Englishand Civics Attachment to the Constitution
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What Should I Expect From the Naturalization Process?
Preparing to Apply Completing Your Application and Getting Photographed Getting Fingerprinted Being Interviewed Taking the Oath
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WhatKind of Customer Service Can I Expect? Where Do I Go for Help? Glossary of Terms
A Guide to Naturalization
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E Pluribus Unum - Out of Many, One -Motto inscripted on the Great Seal of the United States
Welcome What Is Naturalization?
Naturalization is commonly referred to as the manner in which a person not born in the United Statesvoluntarily becomes a U.S. citizen.
We are very pleased that you want to become a U.S. citizen. The United States is a nation of immigrants. Throughout our history, immigrants have come here seeking a better way of life and have strengthened our Nation in the process. For more than 200 years, the United States has remained strong because of our citizens and the common civic values we share.Deciding to become a U.S. citizen is one of the most important decisions in a person’s life. If you decide to apply for naturalization, you will be showing your permanent commitment to the United States. You will also be showing your loyalty to its Constitution and its people. When you are naturalized, you agree to accept all of the responsibilities of being a citizen. You agree to support the UnitedStates, its Constitution, and its laws. In return, you are rewarded with all the rights and privileges that are part of citizenship. We welcome your interest and hope you will read on to learn more about naturalization.
What Is This Guide for?
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) created this Guide to provide better and more consistent information to people interested innaturalization. It is written mainly for people 18 years or older who want to become citizens. Please take the time to review this information to make sure that you are eligible to apply for naturalization. You can find more information at www.uscis.gov or by calling Customer Service at 1-800-375-5283 or 1-800-767-1833 (for hearing impaired).
A Guide to Naturalization
What Are the Benefitsand Responsibilities of Citizenship?
The Constitution and laws of the United States give many rights to both citizens and non-citizens living in the United States. However, some rights are only for citizens, such as: • Voting. Only U.S. citizens can vote in Federal elections. Most States also restrict the right to vote, in most elections, to U.S. citizens. • Bringing family members tothe United States. Citizens generally get priority when petitioning to bring family members permanently to this country. • Obtaining citizenship for children born abroad. In most cases, a child born abroad to a U.S. citizen is automatically a U.S. citizen. • Traveling with a U.S. passport. A U.S. passport allows you to get assistance from the U.S. government when overseas. • Becoming eligible forFederal jobs. Most jobs with government agencies require U.S. citizenship. • Becoming an elected official. Many elected offices in this country require U.S. citizenship. • Showing your patriotism. In addition, becoming a U.S. citizen is a way to demonstrate your commitment to your new country. The above list does not include all the benefits of citizenship, only some of the more important ones....