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The naturalization process

What are the steps of the naturalization process? Created by Kimberly Kutz.

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  • piceratops tree style avatar for user Arctan59
    What if the person you are married to applies for and receives citizenship when they have been in the US for five years and you have been in the US for 2 years?
    In addition, how hard is the English language test?
    (1 vote)
    Default Khan Academy avatar avatar for user

Video transcript

- [Instructor] In this video, we're going to discuss the naturalization process, which noncitizens go through in order to gain their US citizenship. Heads up that we won't be talking about the eligibility requirements that noncitizens must meet, or any of the challenges that they might face along the path to naturalization. We'll cover those in other videos. This is just an overview of what happens at each step in the process. If a noncitizen wants to start the naturalization process, the first step is for them to determine if they are eligible to become a US citizen. Then, they have to wait. If they are married to a current US citizen, they have to wait three years. If they are not, they have to wait five years. During this time, many immigrants take special classes to prepare for citizenship. After the waiting period, if they are at least 18 years old, and have been a resident of the state where they intend to file for at least three months, they may file an Application for Naturalization, an N-400. Once they've submitted their application, they must attend a biometrics appointment to have their fingerprints added to their records. Then they'll have to complete an interview with an official from US Citizenship and Immigration Services to ensure that they meet the necessary requirements, and to conduct the naturalization exam. The exam has two parts: an English language test, with questions about reading, writing, and speaking English, and a civics test, with 10 questions on basic facts about the history and government of the United States. If the applicant gets six of the 10 questions right, they pass, and their application is approved. The final step in the naturalization process is to attend a ceremony to pledge an oath of allegiance. The noncitizen swears to be loyal to the United States above all, to obey the Constitution and other laws, and to perform military or other duties if needed. Then, they sign a document, and are declared a citizen of the United States. And if they have any children under the age of 18, their children automatically become naturalized citizens too. In the next video, we'll go into more detail about the eligibility requirements for naturalization.