The process of naturalization is an important vehicle for the growth of U.S. society. It determines to a significant extent the makeup of many communities throughout the nation and the state of Colorado.
More than 6 million people successfully achieved citizenship by way of naturalization in the past decade.
Important initial steps
A pamphlet published by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services lists ten critical steps to naturalization. One of the first steps is for a person to find out if he or she is eligible for U.S. Citizenship. The key requirements include attaining the age of 18 and having the status of a permanent resident for at least 5 years. Other important actions for naturalization include the following:
- Complete form N-400, Application for Naturalization
- Submit application, documents and fees to USCIS
- Complete fingerprinting and background check
- Complete an interview
The next step involves either the acceptance or denial of the citizenship request. In the case of denial, a person has the right to request a hearing to appeal the decision.
Important final actions
The naturalization process culminates with the Oath of Allegiance. According to NPR this U.S. citizenship oath includes 140 words and extends back to the early days of the nation. However, the oath differed from state to state and eventually evolved into a more standardized oath. A standardized oath appeared in 1929, and officials added an amendment in 1952 in response to a growing threat from the Soviet Union.
Completing the naturalization process and saying the oath is often an emotional moment for many people. It is frequently the culmination of a journey of many years.