There are about 9 million lawful permanent residents in America, eligible to become U.S. citizens. A process through which an immigrant to the United States can become a U.S. citizen is called naturalization.

Naturalization is defined by different requirements, application process, and rights and obligations of the new citizen. The eligibility for getting citizenship depends on two factors:

  • If you are a green card holder for 3-5 years;
  • If you have served in the U.S. military.

Information For Naturalization Requirements and Eligibility

More information about the naturalization requirements and the eligibility check for U.S. Citizenship can be done here.

The naturalization rate depends on how governments are handling citizen applications at the local level, and the path to citizenship is more complicated in the last couple of years. However, close to 3.000 immigrants every year succeed in getting U.S. citizenship in Cleveland, Ohio.

A report by Boundless Immigration, a Seattle technology company that helps families enter the immigration process and apply for green cards and citizenship, shows Cleveland is the No. 1 city in America to become a U.S. citizen. The analysis was performed on 103 major metropolitan areas, and Cleveland was on the top of the list of the “Best (and Worst) Cities to Become a U.S. Citizen.”

Besides Cleveland, two more metro areas are the most suitable for citizenship – Riverside, California, and Louisville, Kentucky, while the worst struggling to become a U.S. citizen the immigrants are facing all in Texas – Austin, Houston, and Dallas.

The most efficient U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services field office is also stated to be in Cleveland. The USCIS office efficiency is reflected in the highest backlog completion of 71.3%, and the nation’s shortest average processing time, which is only four months. Almost nobody waited longer than 12.3 months. In comparison, the national average is ten months, while the Houston area has the longest wait time – 17.3 months, and it is expected that this number will increase in the future. There were cases that the wait time was almost two years in this area (23.5 months).

Although Cleveland is the overall best-ranked city for becoming U.S. citizens, the highest naturalization rate of eligible immigrants are in Columbus (20.6%) and Cincinnati (16.8%), Ohio, and Pittsburg, Pennsylvania.

There are economic benefits from naturalization, not only for immigrants as individuals but also for the whole state economy. Naturalized citizens are more likely to get well-paid jobs and job promotions since naturalization shows their commitment to work and create life in the United States. There are many opportunities for entrepreneurs, banking benefits, organized language clubs, and activities that help new citizens feel like a part of the community. Research shows that naturalized immigrants earn 8-11% more in annual income. If only half of the eligible immigrants nationally become U.S. citizens, it would increase the state’s GDP for $37-52 billion per year.

With a constant effort to advance socioeconomic policies, provide affordable living for immigrant families, and an effective naturalization process in the USCIS office, Cleveland is one of the most immigrant-friendly cities in the U.S.

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