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General information


    Exercising the option to become a US citizen is a decision that should be considered for any eligible person who plans to spend their life in the United States.

    Permanent Residents (green card holders) have less legal protections than United States citizens do. The lives of Permanent Residents are far less stable than those of United States citizens as the rules Permanent Residents operate under are subject to change depending on the political climate. Permanent Residents can be removed (deported) from the United States for a variety of infractions that can be changed by Congress at any time. Many times life long residents of the United States are sent back to their countries of birth or citizenship for relatively minor infractions.



The requirements to become a US citizen vary depending on how a person gained their Permanent Residency. Generally, a person must wait approximately 3-5 years after they become Permanent Resident before the citizenship application may be filed.




    1. Attorney compiles information regarding naturalization applicant.
    2. Attorney prepares N-400 form.
      1. If waiver of civics or English required attorney also prepares this in advance.
    3. N-400 is filed with documents required to prove eligibility for naturalization.
    4. While waiting for the USCIS interview on the naturalization application the applicant should study for English and Civics exam (unless exempt from either or both of these requirements).
    5. When the interview is scheduled the applicant and attorney will receive a notice.
    6. Both the applicant and the attorney attend the applicant's interview.
      1. The USCIS will review the paperwork to make sure the applicant is eligible and administer the English and Civics examination (US citizenship test).
    7. If the applicant is eligible for citizenship and passes the required examinations the USCIS officer will recommend the file for approval and a supervisor will review the recommendation.
    8. If the applicant fails either of the required exams the applicant will be given another chance and another interview will be scheduled.
      1. Failing again will require the applicant to re-file the naturalization application.
    9. If denied for a different reason the applicant can file an appeal.
    10. Once approved the applicant will be scheduled for an oath ceremony.
      1. Please note: The USCIS has to make a decision on the application within 120 days or the applicant can file a lawsuit in federal court.


Justin G. Randolph
Randolph & Holloway | Free Consult
53 W. Jackson Blvd., Suite 1234
Chicago IL 60604 United States of America
1 (312) 663-1560
citizenship lawyer naturalization lawyer