Becoming a U.S. Citizen

Daniela Jimenez, Assistant Editor

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There are various ways an immigrant or refugee can become a US citizen. The process of becoming a citizen tends to vary in length. For some, the process may take less than ten years, but for others, it could take over twenty years.
The first step to becoming a citizen is applying to become a permanent resident. On the USCIS, U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services website, there is information on 8 types of forms to apply for a green card. Each form has specific qualifications depending on the situation.
In 2008, my family filled out I-918, Petition for U Nonimmigrant Status, and I-192, Application for Advance Permission to Enter as a Nonimmigrant. In 2009, we
Image of Joliet West Highschool.around the 2019-2020 school year.Photo courtesy of google.
receive the U-Visa and were granted permission to stay.
After waiting three years, in 2013, we filled out I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, after meeting the requirements necessary. In 2014, we became permanent residents of the US.
After becoming residents, we waited five years, including the year we became residents, to apply for citizenship. The five-year waiting period is a requirement under the N-400, Application for Naturalization.
On April 20th, 2018 my mother became a US citizen. She would have to wait a month before she could apply for my sisters and I to become citizens. My mom filled out the N-600, Application for Certificate of Citizenship.
For some, the process may take less than ten years, but for others, it could take over twenty years. – Daniela Jimenez

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