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List of Documents, Strange Questions, and Personal Impressions: An Immigrant's Tale of the US Naturalization Process

Blogger Elena in America, living in Detroit, shared in her Instagram personal experience applying for American citizenship. Here's what surprised Elena and what she advises to consider if you have a naturalization process in the United States.

Photo: Shutterstock

The questions in the American citizenship application that surprised me, amazed me and even a little scared me:

  1. Have you ever been a member of the communist party? A terrorist?
  2. Have you ever pursued another person because of his race, religion, origin, membership in a particular social group or political views?
  3. Have you worked for the Nazi government in Germany?
  4. Have you ever participated in genocide, torture, forced sex slavery or murder?
  5. Have you been a member of a rebel group?
  6. Have you ever worked in a prison, concentration camp, labor camp or any other place where people are against their will?
  7. Have you ever sold or borrowed weapons to another person? What about drugs?
  8. Have you ever been an alcoholic? What about a prostitute?
  9. Have you ever committed a crime for which you were not arrested? And for which they served?
  10. Have you been married or married to two or more people at the same time?
  11. Have you declined to pay child support?
  12. Have you ever deserted from the US Army?
  13. If the law so requires, are you ready to take up arms for the good of the United States?

Are you also shocked by some points? What do you think - a person who actually did something bad (points 1-12) would admit it?

When a citizen of another country can apply for American citizenship

It depends on the reason for immigration, but, in any case, you need to live in the country for several years before you have such an opportunity. For example, spouses of US citizens need to live here for at least 2 years and 9 months (from the date of issue of the first green card) - this is just my case.

On the subject: Where they can help you prepare for the US citizenship test for free

How is the naturalization process going?

  1. Make sure that you meet the requirements for obtaining 🇺🇸 citizenship - more on this can be found on the website USCIS.gov.
  2. Register on the site my.uscis.gov and fill out the form online (there you can also upload scans of the necessary documents and pay $ 725). There is an option to simply download the N-400 form, fill out, print, attach copies of the necessary documents, check and send it by mail.
  3. Take biometrics (fingerprints + photos).
  4. Get ready to take tests in English and history / US government.
  5. Successfully complete your questionnaire interview and the above tests.
  6. Take the Oath of allegiance, receive a Certificate of Naturalization and hand over the green card. Voila!

And after that I still have to run around and change documents and cards to a new surname. And to get an American passport, of course, so that you can travel more, the coronavirus cannot dictate its conditions to us forever.

What is asked in the application for American citizenship (N-400)

  1. All your names and surnames, general information, as well as the first and last name that you want to have in the future as a US citizen (you can take any, and even come up with a middle name).
  2. Residence addresses for the last 5 years.
  3. Work places for the last 5 years.
  4. Marital status and spouse information.
  5. If this is not the first marriage, then information about the previous one.
  6. Information about the children.
  7. Plus - a few dozen questions, including those that I described in a previous post.
  8. You also need to attach scans / copies of the documents that are needed for your case - they will differ slightly from different people, and, of course, the payment is $ 725.

And now I will tell you why this case took me 4 hours

I had to remember the 5 addresses I have lived for the past 5 years, including the index (it’s good that Yandex and Google know everything!) And the dates of the arrival-congress.

I also raised the address with the index of the office where I worked in Moscow.

First I looked for the date of my first marriage and the birthday of my ex-spouse (yes, I don’t remember them either), and then puzzled my husband with the same questions - by the way, I got married for the first time in 2008, and Greg divorced the same year - funny coincidence!

Then it was the turn to attach documents that confirm the info from the questionnaire - and I began to search through all my papers:

  • green card on both sides;
  • Greg's passport;
  • certificate of change of my last name in Russian and translation into English;
  • divorce certificate - mine and Greg - and translations into English;
  • certificate of our marriage and translation (you already understood where);
  • tax returns for 3 years;
  • auto insurance in which our names are entered;
  • and I also unloaded a wedding photo - let them enjoy it!

Fuh! Writing this post took much less time.

On the subject: 5 Ways to Get US Citizenship Most Immigrants Don't Know About

You'll probably laugh: at first I was thinking of taking on a middle name, something like Caitlin or Kelly, but, having discussed with my husband, Greg William, I changed my mind. I’ll just be Elena Weber - it seems to sound good!

Original published in Elena's Instagram.

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