In this article we discuss if it is a good time to apply for US citizenship? If you are meeting the criteria to apply for US citizenship it is in fact a good time to apply now. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic which has increased processing times for other immigration benefits, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is expected to make steps to assist the process and encourage applications. This is because of an executive order signed by President Joe Biden earlier in February 2021 that calls for US federal agencies to develop “welcoming strategies that promote integration, inclusion, and citizenship.”
The new strategy was released on July 2nd, 2021, by the USCIS and calls for increasing awareness by cooperating with other departments, governmental agencies, local municipalities, and non-profit organizations. The plan also calls for holding naturalization ceremonies at national parks and highlighting the achievement of naturalized US citizens. The strategy is developed partially to show a change of attitude from the previous presidential administration and to encourage the permanent residents that are eligible to apply for US citizenship.
According to USCIS estimates there are approximately 9 million permanent residents in the United States that are eligible to apply for US citizenship but have not done so for various reasons. The requirements to become a U.S. citizen vary, depending on whether the applicant is married to a U.S. citizen, is a child of a U.S. citizen or has served in the U.S. military. In most cases the applicant must first be a permanent resident (green card holder) and fulfill the following requirements:
- To have been a permanent resident (green card holder) for at least 5 years and be at least 18 years old when applying;
- Demonstrate continuous residence in the United States for at least 5 years immediately before applying.
- Show you have been physically present in the U.S. for at least 30 months out of the 5 years immediately before the date of application
- Show that you have lived for at least 3 months in a state or USCIS district having jurisdiction over your place of residence. (If you are a student and are financially dependent on your parents, you may apply for naturalization where you go to school or where your family lives.);
- Show that you are a person of good moral character and have been a person of good moral character for at least 5 years immediately before applying
- Demonstrate an attachment to the principles and ideals of the U.S. Constitution;
- Be able to read, write and speak basic English;
- Have knowledge and understanding of the fundamentals of the history, and of the principles and form of government, of the United States, (civics); and
- Take an Oath of Allegiance to the United States
However, the requirements are slightly different for permanent residents married to U.S. citizens. To learn more about the requirements to become a U.S. citizen, visit our article on US citizenship requirements here.
How can our immigration lawyers assist with US citizenship?
Is it a good time to apply for US citizenship? Yes. If you are one of the 9 million US permanent residents that are eligible to apply to become a US citizen but have not done so, contact our experienced immigration lawyers at Malescu Law in Miami, Florida USA to assist with the requirements for US citizenship and application process.
Malescu Law P.A. – Immigration Lawyers