How Long Should an Immigrant Wait To Get US Citizenship After Applying?
The waiting time to get US citizenship after applying is around 12 to 24 months. However, this is the average time taken to process an immigration application and it may vary based on the applicant and a variety of factors. Let an expert immigration attorney help you navigate through the complex application process and fast track your way to become a US citizen.
The United States with its free society, ample economic opportunities, and scope for freedom to live invite immigrants from all over the world. Once here, every immigrant looks for legal ways to become a US citizen and fulfill their ultimate aim of life. However, getting US citizenship requires you to go through a legal process. Once you apply according to US immigration guidelines and your application is processed and accepted, you have to appear at a an interview. Successful completion of the interview and required formalities enable you to become a US citizen.
The procedural requirements and legal formalities in getting US citizenship create anxiety in most immigrants. Our experienced immigration attorney is ready to guide you through all these and enable an easier way to become a permanent US citizen.
Timeline for Five Steps To Get US Citizenship
US citizenship application and processing – 6 to 15 months
Biometrics appointment – 1 month
Interview and exam call – 2 to 4 months
USCIS informs its decision – 2 to 3 months
Oath of Allegiance – 1 month
Total time to become a US citizen – 12 to 24 months
Factors Impacting Timeline for Getting US Citizenship
Thousands of immigrants apply for US citizenship every year. The approval process, thus, depends much on the number of applications the USCIS has to verify and process. With limited manpower and resources, USCIS officials have to deal with an increasing rush. They are also the people responsible for immigrant interviews. Therefore, the overall number of applicants has a bearing on the timeline.
The location of a USCIS office, where you submitted the naturalization application, also plays a part. Also, it conducts interviews of immigrants under its jurisdictions. A backlog at the office certainly impacts your time frame to become a US citizen.
Filing Form N-400 properly is a key consideration in deciding how long it will take to become a US citizen. Unless you do it correctly, it may lead to more verification, length validations, and even rejection. An expert immigration lawyer can help you avoid filing the form and submit documents as required and avoid any rejection.
Steps To US Citizenship: What is the Average Waiting Time?
Step 1: Filing the Application To Become A US Citizen
All immigrants willing to become US citizens must apply with the N-400 form and submit it along with the documents required. An average application takes about 6 to 15 months for processing. The USCIS informs its acceptance or rejection of an immigrant application for US citizenship only after this
An applicant must:
avoid any mistake or confusing answer in the application to prevent any further delay,
send the application and supporting documents as soon as possible,
write all answers accurately, clearly, and entirely, and
submit translated copies, if the original documents are in any non-English language.
Step 2: The Biometrics Appointment
Once the USCIS receives an immigrant application for US citizenship, it requires the applicant for a biometrics appointment. This puts an appointment schedule that normally takes 1 to 2 months.
The letter from the USCIS mentions the time, date, and place for giving biometrics along with original documents to be presented. During the procedure, the applicant gives his fingerprint and retinal biometrics. The immigration officials also take his photo and signature for identity verification and background check. They may ask for original copies of passport, employee ID, driving license, or any other photo ID.
Step 3: The US Citizenship Interview
Within 2 to 4 months after submitting biometrics, an applicant gets a call for the immigrant interview and exam, two important steps to get US citizenship. The USCIS sends details of the time, date, and location for this.
It is better to get prepared and familiarize yourself with potential questions well before the day of the interview. A mock interview with an expert immigration lawyer is sure to help you stay prepared and succeed.
The citizenship exam consists of a test of language and another test of American history and polity. Those unable to pass have a chance to retake the exam, after three months.
Step 4: The Approval
A good performance in both the interview and the exam opens the road to US citizenship. However, the USCIS takes about 2 to 3 months to convey the result to an applicant.
If an applicant succeeds, he is asked to prepare for the oath of allegiance.
If any document is missing, a 30-day deadline is given to submit them.
If an applicant fails, he is allowed to continue and retry after 2 to 3 months.
If an applicant fails the second time, one is declared ineligible.
If one is denied US citizenship, he has 30 days to appeal against it.
Step 5: The Oath of Allegiance
Within a month of an applicant’s successful immigrant interview result is out, he has to take an oath of allegiance to the United States. It takes about 2 to 4 weeks to get a confirmed schedule of time, date, and place to take the oath.
Once you have the oath of allegiance, you are qualified to become a US citizen and can enjoy all benefits without any restriction.
After Becoming A US Citizen
One gets a new social security number in 10 days and becomes eligible for Medicare.
One can apply and get a US passport in a month.
One can register to vote within a month.
An immigration attorney is your most trusted aid to complete the citizenship process in the minimum possible time. From filing the correct application with the right documents to preparing for the interview and the exam, the lawyer is the most suitable person to help you navigate through. Get in touch with immigration attorney to plan everything in detail and don’t leave anything to the last minute. Apart from legal support for documentation and filing, we also offer mock interviews to help you figure out answers to all potential immigration interview questions in the most satisfactory way.