How to Become a US Citizen: A Comprehensive Guide
Q: I was arrested in the past. Should I still try to naturalize?
A: If you have been arrested, it is important to speak with an attorney before applying for
citizenship. There are situations where it would be better to not apply for citizenship, but rather to
continue as a legal permanent resident.
Q: I missed filing a tax return or owe taxes to the government. How will this affect my ability to become a citizen?
A: You definitely will need to get in touch with the IRS to file your missing tax returns for the past 5 years. Sometimes applicants choose to set up a payment plan with the IRS if they are unable to pay off back taxes they may owe.
Q: When did I become a “Permanent Resident”?
A: The date you became a Legal Permanent Resident is the date on your green card after “Resident Since”.
Q: What are “Biometrics”?
A: “Biometrics” is the term used by USCIS to describe how a person is identified by physical traits.
At a “Biometrics” appointment your photograph, fingerprints, and signature will be taken. USCIS will use the information to complete a background check and confirm your identity.
Q: What is the Naturalization test like?
A: During the naturalization interview, the USCIS Officer will ask questions about your Naturalization Application (Form N-400) and background. You will also take an English and civics test unless you qualify for an exemption or waiver (based on age or disability). The English test has three components: reading, writing, and speaking. The civics test covers important U.S. history and government topics.
Q: How well do I need to speak English?
A: You will need to show that you can speak and read in English at your citizenship interview. The USCIS officer who interviews you will speak to you in English, and observe how well you respond to questions and instructions. The officer will also ask you to read a short passage, and to write a sentence that he or she says aloud (dictates) to you. The USCIS website has many materials to help you study, including reading and writing vocabulary flashcards and other study guides.
Q: Where can I go to get help with my English?
A: If you aren’t already comfortable with the English language, taking a class at a local school or citizenship program will help. Get regular practice speaking English with a Citizenship Coach or another English speaker.
We can help you become a citizen
Attorney Steven Miller and the team at Affordable Immigration would be honored to represent you or a family member through the process of becoming a U.S. citizen.
Studies have shown, those in immigration court with a lawyer are much more likely to win their case than those without legal representation.