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  • By: Serving Immigrants
  • Published: March 2, 2021
A passport and money on a flag - Serving Immigrants

If you are one of the millions of people who are living in the United States without legal citizenship, you are missing out on a number of important legal benefits and protections. For those who plan to remain in the US permanently, becoming a citizen makes a lot of sense. While it can take some time and effort, it will be worth it in the end.

The specific process for becoming a US citizen will depend on a number of factors, including your current legal status, how long you have been in the country, and more. The following steps, however, will provide you with a good outline of what will need to happen in order to become a citizen.

Looking At Your Eligibility

The first thing you will want to do is to make sure you are eligible for citizenship. Some of the following requirements must be in place before applying for citizenship, and others you just need to be able to accomplish before taking the final citizenship test.

The eligibility requirements are as follows:

  • You must be 18 or older.
  • You must have been a permanent resident in the US for at least five years (or be married to a US citizen for at least 3 years).
  • You must be able to read, write, and speak English.
  • You must have an understanding of the US governmental system.
  • You must have a basic knowledge of US history.
  • You must be willing to defend the US and the Constitution, if necessary.
  • You must be seen to have good moral character (typically meaning that you have not committed any serious crimes).


Certain people are exempt from some requirements if they are: over a certain age and have been permanent residents for a certain amount of years, also if they have disabilities.

For instance, there is the 50/20 exception. This means that you are exempt from the English language requirement if you are 50 years or older when you file for naturalization AND you have lived in the US as a legal permanent resident for at least 20 years. This also applies to the 55/15 exception (55 years old and have been a permanent resident for 15 years).

People with mental disabilities can also be exempt from the English language requirement AND the civics naturalization requirement.

Submit The Required Documentation

If you meet or will be able to meet the above requirements, you will need to file an N400 form. In addition to this form, you will need to submit documentation that proves you meet the requirements. This could include a marriage certificate, proof of residence, your existing green card, or any number of other documents based on your situation.

Fingerprinting And Interview

Once your application has been processed, you will be contacted by a USCIS office to schedule a time for you to come in. When you arrive, you will be fingerprinted and have to go through an interview with one of the agents. In the interview, you will be asked a number of questions, most of which will be based on the personal information you submitted on your N400 form. Make sure to answer these questions honestly and clearly. After your interview, the immigration office will review your answers and go over your documents again. Once done, they will send you an N-652 form, which will let you know if your citizenship application has been approved or rejected.

Oath Of Allegiance

If your application is approved, you will be given a date that you can go to the USCIS office to complete your oath of allegiance to the United States. Once this is done, you are a US Citizen!

We Are Here To Help

The process for becoming a citizen often appears simple on paper, but it can be time consuming and confusing. The best way to ensure you complete the process without any unnecessary delays or problems is to have an attorney there to help you every step of the way. Contact Cuprys & Associates to discuss your situation and get this exciting process started.

Image of Attorney Magdalena Cuprys, Esq with 4.7 start reviews

Attorney Magdalena Cuprys is a seasoned immigration lawyer based in Orlando and Coral Gables, Florida. With three languages under her belt and years of legal experience working with immigrants of all kinds, she brings considerable experience and insight to the field and works hard to explain immigration concepts, empower future citizens, and keep current and prospective immigrants up to date on US immigration law.

Connect with her firm, Serving Immigrants, to stay updated on the latest developments in United States immigration law and gain valuable insights needed to navigate the challenging legal landscape of immigration in Florida. 

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