Pathway to Citizenship
People who have held a green card for at least 5 years can apply for naturalization if they meet the following requirements:
· Are 18 or older
· Have lived in the state where they are applying for naturalization for the past 3 months. Students are allowed to apply in the state where they go to school or in the state where their family lives.
· You must live in the U.S. for the 5 years following the date when you fill out the Naturalization form
· You must live in the U.S. full time from when you apply for naturalization until naturalization
· You must be able to speak, read, and write English and understand U.S. history and government
· You must be a person of good moral character. They will look at your past and criminal record (if you have one) when making their decision about your moral character.
· Attachment to the Constitution- You will take an oath of allegiance to the Constitution.
The steps are as followed:
1. Fill out your application, which includes photographs and additional documentation. Send this into the Service Center nearest you.
2. You will receive a letter from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) with an appointment time for you to get fingerprinted. Go to the appointment to have your prints taken.
3. You will receive an appointment for an interview. Go at the appropriate time with your state-issued ID, your Permanent Resident card, and the additional documentation that they request. Here you will have to answer questions about your background and your application. Then you will take the English and civics tests. After this you will be told the status of your case.
4. If your application is accepted you will be given a ceremony date. On that day return your Permanent Resident Card. They will ask you questions about anything you did since your interview. You will then take the Oath of Allegiance and be given your Certificate of Naturalization.
Here is a guide that has details about the application, the process, and who to contact if you need help.
Some Pro Bono Legal Service providers are listed below. Note that some of these organizations may charge a small fee. They are able to help you with any legal questions regarding your immigration case and represent you in court if needed:
HIAS and Council Migration Services, 3rd Floor
2100 Arch Street Philadelphia, PA 19103
Nationalities Service Center Migration Services
1216 Arch Street, 4th Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19107
Lutheran Children and Family Services
5901 North 5th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19120
Catholic Social Services
Archdiocese Of Philadelphia
227 N. 18th Street Philadelphia, PA 19103