The process for becoming a U.S. citizen is called naturalization. To be eligible for naturalization, an individual must be a permanent resident of the United States. An individual must also meet certain requirements related to age, education, and good moral character. The naturalization process begins with the filing of an application with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
The USCIS will then schedule an interview with the applicant and his or her family members who are applying for citizenship at the same time as the applicant. At this interview, applicants are asked questions about their knowledge of American government and history and about their ability to read, write, speak, and understand English; they must also pass a test on these subjects as well as a test showing that they have been living in compliance with immigration laws and regulations for at least five years prior to filing their application for citizenship.
If there are no problems with your application, you will receive a “Notice of Naturalization Oath Ceremony” notice in the mail about one month before your ceremony date. You will need to attend this ceremony at your local courthouse with two witnesses who can verify your identity and two official forms of identification (one photo ID). At the ceremony, you must take an oath that you will renounce all allegiance to other nations and pledge loyalty only to the United States.
Citizens of the United States enjoy a number of rights and responsibilities, including the right to vote. U.S. citizens also have the responsibility to obey the laws of the United States and to participate in the civic life of their community.