Citizenship Process Links


This article discusses naturalization through a step by step process. Immigration Direct talks about how processing all the naturalization paperwork can vary anywhere from five months to two years. After filling out the applications and turning in everything, the immigrant must go through an interview process as well as take a test. Then comes the swearing-in process. The swearing-in ceremony must take place somewhere between 1 to 180 days after taking the interview. If all goes well, the immigrant will be able to receive a naturalization certificate and become an United States citizen. An important thing for individuals who are going through the naturalization process is to be as thorough at possible as well as prevent making mistakes. Mistakes can cause the process to slow greatly as well as potentially prevent an individual from becoming a citizen.

Here are some general steps for the citizenship process. First, the individual must read through a guide to naturalization for information about the process. After reading through the information, the individual must determine whether or not they are even eligible to apply for citizenship. There is a worksheet to help decide an individual’s eligibility. If an individual is eligible, they must download and complete multiple forms with accurate information. With the forms filled out, the individual must submit them and the necessary documents listed on a checklist on the website. The next step is having two passport-style photos taken. Sending in all of this information along with the application fee is the next step in the process, followed by visiting the USCIS and getting fingerprinted. Then comes the waiting process and everything listed in Immigration Direct.

This article goes in depth about the immigration process of the past. Here is the general idea of it all.

 “General Rule: The Two-Step Process

Congress passed the first law regulating naturalization in 1790 (1 Stat. 103). As a general rule, naturalization was a two-step process that took a minimum of 5 years. After residing in the United States for 2 years, an alien could file a “declaration of intent” (so-called “first papers”) to become a citizen. After 3 additional years, the alien could “petition for naturalization.” After the petition was granted, a certificate of citizenship was issued to the alien. These two steps did not have to take place in the same court. As a general rule, the “declaration of intent” generally contains more genealogically useful information than the “petition.” The “declaration” may include the alien’s month and year (or possibly the exact date) of immigration into the United States.

Exceptions to the General Rule

Having stated this “two-step, 5-year” general rule, it is necessary to note several exceptions.

The first major exception was that “derivative” citizenship was granted to wives and minor children of naturalized men. From 1790 to 1922, wives of naturalized men automatically became citizens. This also meant that an alien woman who married a U.S. citizen automatically became a citizen. (Conversely, an American woman who married an alien lost her U.S. citizenship, even if she never left the United States.) From 1790 to 1940, children under the age of 21 automatically became naturalized citizens upon the naturalization of their father. Unfortunately, however, names and biographical information about wives and children are rarely included in declarations or petitions filed before September 1906. For more information about women in naturalization records, see Marian L. Smith, “Women and Naturalization, ca. 1802-1940,” Prologue: Quarterly of the National Archives, Vol. 30, No. 2 (Summer 1998): 146-153.

The second major exception to the general rule was that, from 1824 to 1906, minor aliens who had lived in the United States 5 years before their 23rd birthday could file both their declarations and petitions at the same time.

The third major exception to the general rule was the special consideration given to veterans. An 1862 law allowed honorably discharged Army veterans of any war to petition for naturalization–without previously having filed a declaration of intent–after only 1 year of residence in the United States. An 1894 law extended the same no-previous-declaration privilege to honorably discharged 5-year veterans of the Navy or Marine Corps. Over 192,000 aliens were naturalized between May 9, 1918, and June 30, 1919, under an act of May 9, 1918, that allowed aliens serving in the U.S. armed forces during “the present war” to file a petition for naturalization without making a declaration of intent or proving 5 years’ residence. Laws enacted in 1919, 1926, 1940, and 1952 continued various preferential treatment provisions for veterans.”

Here are some facts about naturalization in the United States of America for last year.

Naturalization Statistics

 Each year, USCIS welcomes approximately 680,000 citizens during naturalization ceremonies across the United States and around the world

n FY 2012, 74 percent of all persons naturalizing resided in 10 states (in descending order): California, Florida, New York, Texas, New Jersey, Illinois, Virginia, Massachusetts, Washington and Georgia.[1]

In FY 2012, the leading metropolitan areas of residence were New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-PA (16.4 percent); Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, FL (9 percent); and Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, CA (8.7 percent).

In FY 2012, the top countries of origin for naturalization were in the following order: Mexico, Philippines, India, Dominican Republic and China.

Since September 2002 as of May 31st, 2013, USCIS has naturalized 89,095 members of the military, with 10,719of those service members becoming citizens during USCIS naturalization ceremonies in 28 countries: Afghanistan, Bahrain, China (Hong Kong), Cuba (Guantanamo), Djibouti, El Salvador, Germany, Greece, Haiti, Honduras, Iceland, Iraq, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Kosovo, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Mexico, Philippines, Qatar, South Korea, Spain, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom.

Since 2008, USCIS has naturalized 1,898 military spouses during ceremonies in the following 28 countries: Bahrain, Bulgaria, Chile, Cuba, China (Hong Kong), El Salvador, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kosovo, Kuwait, Mexico, Norway, Oman, Panama, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, South Korea, Spain, Romania, Tanzania, Thailand, Turkey and the United Kingdom.”

This article discusses facts that most may not know about immigration. Anywhere from questions about “How many foreigners become American citizens each year?

In the last decade, an average of 700,000 people a year became naturalized citizens of the United States. That’s roughly one each year for every 500 U.S residents, or one every 79 seconds.

In the 1990s, the annual average was 500,000, and in the 1980s it was 200,000. These may sound like large numbers, yet as share of the total population, this is a change from 0.1% of the population becoming naturalized citizens each year in the 1980s to 0.2% now.

Where are they from originally?

In recent years, the most new American citizens were from Mexico, followed by India, the Philippines and China. Since 1976, Asia has been the leading region of origin (before that it was Europe).

Where do they live in the U.S.?

Nearly half of new citizens now live in just three states: California, Florida and New York. In recent years, 15% have lived in the greater New York City metropolitan area, 10% in greater Los Angeles and 8% in and around Miami.

Do all foreigners with visas become citizens?

No. About 8 million green card holders are eligible to naturalize right now, having lived in the country continuously for at least 5 years, yet have not become citizens. Bureaucratic red tape and taxing inefficiencies have persuaded many with permanent resident visas not to seek full citizenship. For example, a 2003 survey supported by the National Institutes of Health found that a sixth of new legal immigrants – those who succeed in getting visas – surveyed said they became depressed during the process. Avoiding a similar situation in going from visa to naturalization can be a powerful deterrent to becoming a U.S. citizen.”


Image taken from:


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s