If you are 18 years of age or older, of good moral character, who has legally and permanently resided in the US for 5 years, who read, writes, and understands basic English, and has a basic knowledge of US History and Government?
[color]LATINO LEADERSHIP WANTS YOU![/color]
Latino Leadership volunteers are available to assist you in filling out your N-400 application by appointment. Call 407-895-0801 to schedule an appointment.
Requirements/ Things to Bring:
• Be a legal, permanent resident for 5 years,
• Have an alien card, Social Security Card, State ID or Drivers License,
• List of places where you have lived and worked the past 5 years,
• List of places outside the United States where you have traveled during the past 5 years, including day and year of travel,
• Information about your spouse including: name, date of birth, social security number, alien number and/or date of naturalization,
• Information about your children including: name, date of birth, social security number and alien number (if applicable),
• Information about spouses of previous marriages: date of marriage, date the marriage ended, and reason for the divorce (if applicable),
• Information about any arrests: reason for the arrest, date, place and disposition. For men only: Selective Service number and date of registration (if applicable),
• There is an application fee of $675 in the form of a money order payable to “U.S. Department of Homeland Security”.
Path to Citizenship:
Step 1: Make sure you qualify. You must:
•be 18 or older
•be a legal permanent resident living in the U.S. for five years, or three years if married to a U.S. citizen. You need to have been in the U.S. for more than half those years.
•not have been out of the country for 6 months or longer at a time.
•must live in the district you’re filing in for at least three months.
Step 2: Fill out the application. To get form N-400, call 1-800-870-3676 or downloaded it at www.uscis.gov. Fill out all questions honestly, particularly about your criminal record, or you could get barred from applying for several years. You must submit two colored passport-style photos and court-certified documents if you were arrested or pay child support. Documents in languages other than English should be translated. Check the document checklist to see if you need to submit anything else.Make copies of your application package before mailing it, along with the fee. Florida residents can mail them to: P.O. Box 299026, Lewisville, TX 75029.
Step 3: Wait for your appointment letter. It takes about a week or two to arrive and tells you where to get your fingerprints taken for a background check.
Step 4: Fingerprinting. Take your notice letter, permanent residence card and a second identification card with a photo, such as a driver’s license or passport, to your appointment.
Step 5: Wait for your interview letter. The agency will send you a notice that tells you when to show up for a citizenship test. The interview often is scheduled two to three months after the fingerprint appointment.
Step 6: The interview. It begins as soon as you meet the immigration officer, who will judge you on your ability to speak and understand English. The officer will confirm information in your application and ask you to swear an oath of allegiance to the U.S.
Step 7: The test. You’ll be given an oral, written and reading test. You must answer correctly six out of 10 oral questions about American government, geography and history. The officer will ask you to correctly read and write one of three sentences. You’ll find out there if you pass or fail.
Step 8: Be sworn in. You’re likely to be sworn in and receive a naturalization certification — proof of your citizenship — the same week you passed the test.
Myths & Truths:
Myth: I can’t bring an attorney to the interview. False.
You can bring attorney, but he may not be necessary if you don’t have a criminal record and speak English fluently.
Myth: I need to pay money to obtain an application form. False.
The form is free. The agency charges $675 to process the application, collect fingerprints and run a background check. During workshops Latino Leadership hosts, the application will be provided and assistance will be provided to fill-out the required information.
Myth: If I fail the test I won’t be able to retake it. False.
You can take the test twice. If you fail the second time, you must restart the application process and pay the fee, again.
Myth: The naturalization process takes years. False.
In Orlando, it took about five months for most people to be sworn in from the time they submitted their application.
Myth: The new test is harder. False.
Although it requires people to have a better grasp on U.S. civics, history and government, about 91 percent of applicants passed the new exam, compared with 84 percent who passed the old version.
*Information gathered from the USCIS and the Orlando Sentinel/ Eloisa Gonzalez