Becoming a United States citizen is a goal many people shoot for in their lifetime. Many of these people achieve the goal and many do not. Some attempt this illegally and some are honest. Whatever the case may be, all courses of action should follow the letter of the law and every person living in the United States should be living there legally. The process to becoming a United States citizen is very expensive and if one person has to come up with that money, then so should everybody else. There are a few important things to remember when trying to become a United States citizen.
First, the person wanting to be a citizen should enter the country legally. Step one should always be to be honest up front and the attitude should not be if I get caught, I can apply for a pardon. The interview for citizenship takes all the information from day one into consideration and it is best to not have any black marks on your record. Obtaining the proper forms and documents should be first on the priority list. If there are any doubts about what documents are needed, the government offers several websites to help finding the information that you need.
The person should try to pursue their permanent residence. If the person is married to a citizen, then the process will be somewhat smoother, otherwise the applicant will need to prove their need to be a resident in the United States. It may be a good idea to get some legal counsel for a portion of the process, but after your feet are on the ground, then you can make it by yourself as the process is not extremely difficult unless you have a special case.
Once becoming a resident and having a work permit and social security card, you have to remove the conditions of your residence. You will have to show up for a meeting and prove your need to still be a resident. If this is successful, you will be issued a ten year resident card and once you have satisfied the physical presence and continuous residence requirements, you can apply for citizenship. Usually, if married to a citizen, the time needed is eighteen months out of thirty six and if not, the time needed is thirty months out of sixty that you are in the United States.
Once you file for your citizenship, you need to be fingerprinted. Once that is done, you will have an interview and a citizenship test. If that is all approved, then you will have a hearing, which will officially make you a citizen and you will be given a document that states such.
The process is long and expensive, but it is well worth the benefits of being a United States citizen.