Becoming a United States citizen is a goal for many, but the process isn’t always easy. Not all are eligible, and determining your eligibility is only the beginning of the naturalization process. To determine if you’re eligible to become a U.S. citizen, keep reading to learn more about the process and to see how you can get help from an immigration expert. 

U.S. naturalization criteria

Naturalization Criteria

You must meet certain criteria in order to be eligible for U.S. citizenship. The naturalization process can be different for everyone, but all must meet the criteria for U.S. naturalization.

  • Be age 18 or over
  • Speak, read, and write basic English
  • Determined to have good moral character 

In addition to the criteria listed above, the person who wants to go through naturalization must also meet at least one of the following:

  • Green Card holder
  • Member of the U.S. military
  • Married to a U.S. citizen
  • Child of a U.S. citizen

What Do You Do After You Determine That You’re Eligible for Naturalization?

Those who are eligible for U.S. naturalization don’t become citizens automatically. Instead, they must follow the process of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The 10-step process is necessary, but it can be a lengthy process. 

Form N-400

After determining that you aren’t already a citizen and are eligible for naturalization, the next step is to submit Form N-400. The form is available online and requires supporting documents and fees to be paid before submission. Depending on your type of eligibility, you’ll be required to submit documents such as copies of your Permanent Resident card, proof of residence in the U.S., or U.S. tax returns. This step is crucial in becoming a naturalized citizen, and failing to include the required documents can result in a denial. An immigration lawyer can help you through this process by explaining each step of the form and helping you gather the correct documents to avoid common mistakes. 


Once the form is submitted and fees are paid, the next step is to complete an interview with USCIS. Arrive at the date and time printed on your appointment notice, and bring the notice with you to your interview.


Finally, you’ll receive a decision from USCIS on the status of your application. There are three decision statuses you can receive: granted, continued or denied. If you receive the status of granted, you are eligible to take the Oath of Allegiance. A continued status means you may need to submit additional documents or that your form was incomplete; a denied status means that you were determined to be ineligible for naturalization.

Oath of Allegiance to the United States

The final step to become a U.S. citizen is to take an Oath of Allegiance. During the ceremony, you’ll turn in your Permanent Resident card and receive a Certificate of Naturalization. You are now a citizen of the United States!

Streamline the Process with an Immigration Lawyer at CoxEsq., P.C.

The naturalization process isn’t always simple. Many people who aspire to become U.S. citizens can benefit from an expert to help them through the process. At CoxEsq., P.C., our immigration lawyers specialize in helping those on their journey to become U.S. citizens. We’re here to serve as a resource, give advice, and provide support on your citizenship journey. To learn more about what our immigration lawyers can do for you, contact CoxEsq., P.C. today to schedule a consultation.