Programs > Become a U.S. Citizen
BECOME A U.S. CITIZEN
U.S citizenship provides many rights, but also involves many responsibilities. Thus, the decision to become a U.S. citizen through naturalization is important. In most cases, a person who wants to naturalize must first be a permanent resident. By becoming a U.S. citizen, you gain many rights that permanent residents or others do not have, including the right to vote. To be eligible for naturalization, you must first meet certain requirements set by U.S. law.
THE REQUIREMENTS <Click Here
Generally, to be eligible for naturalization you must:
Exceptions to this rule for someone who: -Is 55 years old and has been a permanent resident for at least:
- 15 years; or
- 50 years old and has been a permanent resident for at least 20 years; or - Has a permanent physical or mental impairment that makes the individual unable to fulfill these requirements.
When can I apply for naturalization?
You may be able to apply for naturalization if you are at least 18 years of age and have been a permanent resident of the United States:
• For at least 5 years; or
• For at least 3 years during which time you have been, and
continue to be, married to and living in a marriage relationship with your U.S. citizen spouse; or • While currently serving honorably in the U.S. military, with at least 1 year of service, and you apply for citizenship while in the military, or within 6 months of discharge.
Certain spouses of U.S. citizens, and those who served in the U.S. military during a past war or are serving currently in combat may be able to file for naturalization sooner than noted above.
The Constitution and laws of the United States give many rights to both citizens
and non-citizens living in the United States. However, some rights are only for citizens.
• Voting: Only U.S. citizens can vote in Federal elections. Most States also restrict the right to vote, in most elections, to U.S. citizens.
• Bringing family members to the United States: Citizens generally get priority when petitioning to bring family members permanently to this
• Obtaining citizenship for children born abroad: In most cases, a child born abroad to a U.S. citizen is automatically a U.S. citizen.
• Traveling with a U.S. passport: A U.S. passport allows you to get assistance from the U.S. government
• Becoming eligible for Federal jobs: Most jobs with government agencies require U.S. citizenship.
• Becoming an elected official: Many elected offices in this country require U.S. citizenship.
• Showing your patriotism: In addition, becoming a U.S. citizen is a way to demonstrate your commitment to your new country.
The above list does not include all the benefits of citizenship, only some of the more important ones.
To become a U.S. citizen you must take the Oath of Allegiance. The oath includes several promises you make when you become a U.S. citizen, including promises to:
• Give up all prior allegiance to any other nation or sovereignty;
• Swear allegiance to the United States;
• Support and defend the Constitution and the laws of the United States; and
• Serve the country when required. U.S. citizens have many responsibilities other than the ones mentioned in the Oath. Citizens have a responsibility to participate in the political process by registering and voting in elections. Serving on a jury is another responsibility of citizenship. Finally, America becomes stronger when all of its citizens respect the different opinions, cultures, ethnic groups, and religions found in this country. Tolerance for differences is also a responsibility of citizenship.
When you decide to become a U.S. citizen, you should be willing to fulfill the responsibilities of citizenship. We hope you will honor and respect the freedoms and opportunities citizenship gives you. At the same time, we hope you become an active member of your community. It is by participating in your community that you truly become an American.
Who can help me complete the Naturalization procedure?
If you need information or assistance on naturalization services, please visit TODEC, Perris, or call : 951-943-1955
There will be someone ready to help you get started on your road to U.S. Citizenship.