Once you’ve submitted your application, paid your fees and gone through the biometrics, you will need to interview with a USCIS official before you can get naturalized U.S. Citizenship.
When an applicant petitions to become a United States Citizen USCIS will review the applicant’s entire immigration history to determine if the application can be approved. It is imperative that you review your entire immigration history (preferably with an Immigration Attorney) prior to filing for Naturalization. This is especially true if you have received your green card through Political Asylum or if you have had any criminal problems in the past.
1. Your Application
After you have arrived at your interview, been sworn in, and shown your identification the immigration officer will go through your application for citizenship. He will be reviewing it line by line. He will be trying to determine if you meet the eligibility requirements. Therefore, you should review your application before you go to your interview. If you have made a mistake on your application then make sure you bring it to the attention of the interviewer.
2. How You Obtained Your Green Card
If you obtained your green card through marriage USCIS will ask you about your marriage. Are you still married? The interviewer will want to know if you are still married or were you ever separated or divorced from that spouse. If you are divorced or separated they will ask you why and when you separated or divorced. USCIS wants to make sure that you were still together when you received your permanent green card.
If you got your green card through your employer they will ask you questions about your employment. Questions will concern when you worked there and if you still work there. USCIS wants to make sure that you were working there when you received your green card.
If you received your green card based on Political Asylum then USCIS will want to confirm the information on your asylum application. You will be asked if you were arrested before? Are you a member of any groups? USCIS will want to know if/why you went back to your home country. Note: If you did go home you need to speak with an immigration attorney before filing for Naturalization.
3. Your Travel
You need to have all of your passports that you have used since entering the United States. The officer will go through your passport to make sure you listed the correct travel dates on your application. If you don’t have your old passports the officer may ask you to prove your physical presence in the United States through bills, taxes etc.
4. Your Knowledge of US History and US Government
You will be tested on your knowledge of US History and form of government. After you apply for US Citizenship, USCIS will schedule you for fingerprinting (biometrics). At your biometrics appointment USCIS will give you a book to study with the information on the US History exam. You will be given a quiz on US History and US government during the interview. There will be up to 10 questions. You need to answer six of the ten questions correctly to pass.
5. Your Ability to Speak English
You have to also be able to read and write a simple sentence in English.
You also have to be able to demonstrate the ability to speak English throughout the interview.
You may be exempt from the English requirement. If you are exempt then you may bring an interpreter to the interview with you.
6. Your Family
If you have minor children and you don’t live with them you have to prove that you support them financially. This may be proven with the following evidence: a notarized affidavit from your ex-spouse stating that you provide support; cancelled checks showing support; or proof by showing money transfers. If there is a court order of support then you have to prove that you are paying the amount ordered by the Court. If you owe back child support you may not be able to naturalize.
If you were married, divorced, or have children then you must bring documents which establish these relationships (marriage certificates, birth certificates and divorce decrees).
7. Your Criminal Records
If you have ever been arrested, you will have to provide the certified final disposition of your record from the court. If you are currently on probation you will not be able to naturalize. If you have been on probation or were arrested during the last five years your application may be denied. If you have ever been arrested then you need to speak with an immigration attorney before you apply for naturalization. Some arrests may lead to removal (deportation) and or a loss of your permanent residence.
8. Your Membership in Groups or Organizations
You will be asked about political groups, religious organizations and work organizations that you are a current member in or have been a member of in the past. For example, if your asylum application was based upon membership in a political group then you need to mention that group in your application
9. Your Commitment to the United States
You will be asked if you believe in the constitution, if you are willing to take an oath to the United States and if you are willing to fight for the United States. If you don’t have a commitment to our system of government and are not willing to defend our country you may not be able to naturalize. As part of your commitment to the United States any male who lived in the USA between the ages of 18-26 must have registered for selective service.
10. Your Identity Documents
You need to bring your green card, passport (even if it has expired) any re-entry permits you may have, and your local state identification with you to your interview.
Besides the foregoing, USCIS can ask you to bring other documents with you to your interview. These documents will be listed in your appointment letter. Make sure to carefully read your appointment letter before you go to your interview. If you do not bring the documents listed above then you risk having your case continued (delayed to another date) or denied.
Disclaimer: The information provided on this site is not legal advice but general information only. This article is only a very basic introduction to this topic. You should seek a competent immigration attorney to review the specific facts and circumstances of your case before proceeding with your case.