You have recently immigrated to the U.S. and are currently residing in Illinois. By having accomplished your goal to get your family safely to America, your next goal is to secure your citizenship and have permission to enjoy all of the same rights as your American-born brothers and sisters. Understanding the process of gaining citizenship may help you better prepare for what comes next. 

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services describes naturalization as the process that you will undergo as you work towards citizenship. This process involves several smaller steps that are designed to break down the process into realistic goals. From start to finish, here is what you can expect:

  • Application: This is where you will gather informational materials and important documents that are required to fill out your application. Once completed, you will turn this in. 
  • Biometrics: You will be required to set up an appointment where you will need to get your picture taken and your fingerprints recorded. 
  • Naturalization interview: It is recommended that you study for your test before taking it. The naturalization test will require you to demonstrate your understanding of reading, writing and speaking the English language. In addition, a brief civics test will gauge your understanding of your new country’s background and history. 
  • Oath: When you have passed your naturalization interview, you will need to take the Oath of Allegiance. 

Once a citizen, you should look for ways to be involved in your community. Working with other immigrants, asking the natives for their help and even learning how to adapt on your own, are all valuable ways of becoming more comfortable in your new environment. From here, you can continue to discover and enjoy all of the opportunities that your new home has to offer. 

The information in this article is intended for educational purposes only and should not be taken as legal advice.