Frequently Asked Questions
How can the Florida New Americas Program help me to become a U.S. citizen?
Our program offers assistance throughout the entire naturalization process. Florida New Americans offers application assistance (Form N-400) and citizenship office hours to help you apply for citizenship. Our classes prepare you to pass the citizenship exam and become a U.S. citizen. If you would like any of these services, contact a citizenship promoter today!
Am I eligible for citizenship?
You must be 18 years and older, and you must have been a legal permanent resident (with your “green card”) for at least five years (three years if married to a U.S. citizen). Also, you must have been in the country for at least 30 months during the past five years, and you can not have taken a trip outside of the country the lasted six months or longer without permission from USCIS.
Why should I become a U.S. citizen?
There are many benefits to being a U.S. citizen that you do not have as a legal permanent resident. The right to vote, have a U.S. passport, sponsor family members, and gain citizenship for children (under 18) are just a few of the privileges of U.S. citizenship. In addition, U.S. citizens can never face deportation or be denied entry to the United States.
Is knowledge of English required to become a U.S. citizen? 
Fluency in English is not a requirement, but basic conversational English skills are necessary for the citizenship interview and exam. If you need to improve your English, many of our organizations offer English classes for all levels. If you already are conversational in English, our citizenship classes will prepare you by teaching specific vocabulary necessary the interview.However, you may take the interview and exam in your native language if you meet the follow criteria. You must bring your own interpreter (can not be a family member).

  • You are over 50 years old and have had your green card for more than 20 years.
  • You are over 55 years old and have had your green card for more than 15 years.

How can my children become U.S. citizens?

Upon your naturalization, any of your unmarried children under 18 automatically become U.S. citizens, as long as your children have green cards and you have legal and physical custody of them. You may obtain proof of your child?s citizenship by filing an N-600 or applying for a U.S. passport.

What is the application process like?
You must first file an application for naturalization (Form N-400) with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The filing fee is $675. Upon receipt of your application, USCIS will inform you where you need to go to get fingerprinted. After the USCIS process all the necessary paperwork, you will be scheduled for your citizenship interview. A USCIS officer will ask you questions about your application and test your knowledge of English and U.S. history and civics. Upon passing your interview, you will go before a judge and take an oath of citizenship. Congratulations, you are now a U.S. citizen!

While time varies from case to case, the average timeline is 3-6 months in Maryland. Thus, we recommend that you enroll in a citizenship class before you submit your application in order to give yourself enough time to prepare for your interview.

How do I check on my application status?
You may check the status of your application by visiting www.uscis.gov or calling 800-375-5283. You may also go to your local USCIS field office. You can schedule an appointment through the USCIS Infopass System.

Will I lose citizenship in my native country if I become a U.S. citizen?
Many countries recognize dual citizenship, although some do not. If you have any concerns, you should contact the embassy of your native country with questions. Below are a few of the countries that do accept dual citizenship: Mexico, El Salvador, Honduras, Colombia, Peru, Cote d’Ivoire, Canada, India, U.K.

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