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What are the basic steps in the naturalization process?

People in Charleston who are getting ready to go through the naturalization process in order to become U.S. citizens often have questions regarding what to expect. There are specific steps residents will go through during the naturalization process.

To help people that are preparing to apply, the Immigration and Naturalization Service has prepared a guide which should be carefully reviewed. Afterwards, applicants should then complete the Naturalization Eligibility Worksheet and obtain an Application for Naturalization.

Upon completing the forms, applicants should submit the completed information along with all required documents, fees and two passport-style photographs to the appropriate service location. They will typically receive an appointment letter from the USCIS and must then get fingerprinted. Any additional requested documents should also be submitted. After that, people wait to receive their interview appointment. At the interview, applicants will take the English and civics exams, be interviewed and will receive information about the status of their case. The final step is the naturalization ceremony. At the ceremony, residents will turn in their permanent resident cards and take an oath of loyalty to the United States. They will then receive their Certificate of Naturalization.

Deciding to become a naturalized U.S. citizen is an important step for a lawful permanent resident. Citizenship brings many benefits along with it, including voting privileges, the right to run for and hold office and others. People who have questions about the naturalization process may wish to speak with an immigration and naturalization attorney. An attorney may be able to provide guidance regarding the naturalization process, needed documents and what to expect. Attorneys may also be able to help their clients complete applications and prepare them for the exams and interviews.

Source: US Citizenship and Immigration Services, "What Should I Expect From the Naturalization Process?", November 06, 2014

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