In Michigan, more than half of all immigrants have naturalized U.S. citizens. Furthermore, Detroit is the fifth-fastest city in the United States for naturalization with an approximate wait time of 6.6. months.

If you are thinking of being naturalized in the United States, you should know that there are three ways on how you can earn U.S. citizenship:

  1. By being born in the United States or certain American territories;
  2. By having parents who are U.S. citizens at the time of birth, if you were born abroad;
  3. By applying for naturalization.

Naturalization allows foreign citizens or nationals to be granted the U.S. citizenship upon fulfilling the requirements set by Congress in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA):

  • Being a permanent resident for at least five years and meeting all other eligibility requirements.
  • Being a permanent resident for three years or more and being eligible to file as a spouse of a U.S. citizen.
  • Having qualifying service in the U.S. armed forces and meeting all other eligibility requirements.
  • Having parents who are U.S. citizens, but you are outside of the United States and meeting all other eligibility requirements.

How to Apply for Naturalization

Firstly, if you consider that you meet the above-mentioned requirements and you want to apply for naturalization, you will have to file Form N-400 with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)

This petition contains information about you, such as the birth date, means of entry to the United States, occupation, and lists of spouses and children if there are some.

After you fulfill your Petition for Naturalization (you can see the exact instructions on USCIS website provided above), you will need to file your documentation with your local USCIS office, which in this case will be the office in Detroit, but make sure to put the right address that you can find on the form.

If your Application for Naturalization has been properly filed, USCIS will initially maile you a letter confirming receipt of your application, formally known as Form I-797C, Notice of Action. It approximately arrives between 2 or 3 weeks after filing the petition.

If you failed to file your Form N-400 properly, USCIS might send a Notice of Action that it has rejected the petition or send a Request for Evidence asking for additional items. Since this can significantly delay your request, it is imperative to prepare the N-400 correctly and submit all required documents following the filing instructions.

Afterward, you will receive an appointment notice assigning your biometrics appointment date, time, and location (The nearest USCIS Application Support). To conduct a security clearance and criminal background check, the USCIS requires all applicants to be fingerprinted, so do not be alarmed; it is part of the standard procedure.

Naturalization Ceremony

Upon successfully submitting your application, you will have to take the Oath of Citizenship.

Naturalization ceremonies are held across the state each year. In Detroit, taking the Oath of Citizenship takes place at The Theodore Levin U.S. Courthouse, but ceremonies can sometimes be held at other sites. If you would rather bring a relying person with you instead of going alone, you are free to bring guests to this welcoming ceremony.

At the entrance of any Federal Court facility within the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, visitors will have to provide a valid picture for identification and pass through a magnetometer. Bear in mind that you cannot have firearms, knives, explosives, or any other weapon, and unfortunately, not even cell phone. Still, you can bring in a digital camera and make sure that you have caught memories from your naturalization ceremony.

When coming for a naturalization ceremony, it is advisable to learn more about it, maybe try to hear about other people’s experience, and plan your arrival time accordingly so you can get through the procedure, make it on time, and feel confident during this special event.

Need more immigration information for Detroit, Michigan? Contact your immigration lawyer in Detroit now!

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