Free English Literacy and citizenship classes are available at Los Angeles City College. Students in the program learn about current United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) procedures regarding the application for Naturalization submission, testing, and interviewing.
“English for Citizenship” classes develop the basic oral and written language skills of non‑English speaking adults while introducing basic concepts in U.S. History and Civics, the 100 American History and Government questions, dictation, and interviewing skill strategies. Non‑credit ESL levels 0, 1, and 2 classes are also available for non-citizenship applicants.
Citizenship preparation classes equip students, who have basic oral and written English language skills, to successfully complete the citizenship process. These classes cover the most recent USCIS regulations. They also help students develop confidence and familiarity with the USCIS process and expectations. The citizenship courses additionally cover the rights and responsibilities of U.S. citizenship, civics, American history, and the structure of federal, state, and local government.
The services and classes are free. However, the USCIS N‑400 application for Naturalization fee is $680.00 (attorney’s fees are additional). This program is also available at many offsite locations, and is supported by state grants and Los Angeles City College.
When Can I Apply to Become a Citizen?
The process of applying for U.S. citizenship is known as naturalization. In order to be eligible for naturalization, you must first meet certain requirements required by the U.S. immigration law. Generally, to be eligible for naturalization you must:
• Be age 18 or older; and • Be a permanent resident for a certain amount of time (usually 5 years or 3 years, depending on how you obtained status); and • Be a person of good moral character; and • Have a basic knowledge of U.S. government (this, too, can be excepted due to permanent physical or mental impairment); and • Have a period of continuous residence and physical presence in the United States; and • Be able to read, write, and speak basic English. There are exceptions to this rule for someone who at the time of filing: – Is 55 years old and has been a permanent resident for at least 15 years; or – Is 50 years old and has been a permanent resident for at least 20 years; or – Has a permanent physical or mental impairment that makes the individual unable to fulfill these requirements.
When Can I Apply for Naturalization? You may be able to apply for naturalization if you are at least 18 years of age and have been a permanent resident of the United States:
• For at least 5 years; or • For at least 3 years during which time you have been, and continue to be, married to and living in a marriage relationship with your U.S. citizen husband or wife; or • Have honorable service in the U.S. military.
Certain spouses of U.S. citizens and/or members of the military may be able to file for naturalization sooner than noted above.
If you are a Green Card holder applying for U.S. citizenship through naturalization, one important factor will be whether you have ever been prosecuted for a crime. Although not every crime creates an outright bar to obtaining U.S. citizenship, some do; while others will raise serious questions about the applicant’s good moral character. If you have a criminal record, it is best to speak with a qualified immigration attorney regarding the implications your record may have one your ability to become a U.S. citizen before submitting your application.
ABOUT THE GRADY FIRM
The Grady Firm works with dynamic employers and employees across the country to prepare successful employment-based visa and Green Card applications. In addition, we help individuals, families, employees, business owners, and investors obtain non-immigrant and immigrant visas (B-1/B2, H-1B, H-2B, L-1A, L-1B, O-1, TN, E-2, E-3), as well and Green Cards and citizenship based on family relationships, investment, or employment.
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This article is for informational purposes only, and does not constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. This article does not make any guarantees as to the outcome of a particular matter, as each matter has its own set of circumstances and must be evaluated individually by a licensed attorney.