Citizenship Through Naturalization

Immigration Services | Citizenship Through Naturalization
Immigration Services

Citizenship Through Naturalization

What are the main ways a non-citizen can become a U.S. Citizen?

If a person is not born a U.S. Citizen, they can become one through a process known as Naturalization. Minor children that are not U.S. Citizens can also become citizens when their parents Naturalize by obtaining a Certificate of Citizenship. An experienced citizenship lawyer can help you determine if you already are a citizen or if you would be an excellent fit to naturalize.

Requirements of Naturalization

The requirements:

  • Must be 18 years old on older
  • Must be a permanent resident, i.e., a green cardholder.
  • Must have continuous permanent residence in the U.S.A. for the past five years.
  • Show continuous physical presence in the U.S.A. of at least 30 months in the past five years or 18 months in the past three years if the permanent residence was through Marriage to a U.S. Citizen.
  • Must live in your state for at least three months.
  • Must be a person of Good Moral Character
  • Must pass a Civics exam as well as an English Speaking, Writing and Reading Test
How Much Does the Naturalization Application Cost?


  • USCIS Naturalization Fee Visa Fee: $640.00
  • USCIS Biometrics Fee: $85.00
Citizenship Lawyer Fees

If you decide to use a Chicago Illinois citizenship lawyer, The Law Office of Toma Makedonski charges a low flat fee for naturalization representation.

Documents Needed for Naturalization

Generally Required Documents:

  • Copy of your Birth Certificate
  • Copy of your Passport/ Visa if you have one
  • Copy of the front and back of your Green Card
  • Any current and past marriage licenses and any divorce decrees
  • Any records of criminal charges, even those that were sealed or expunged
  • Past five years of Tax Returns with any W2’s or 1099’s or Transcripts
  • Proof of payment of child support, if applicable.

Your Chicago Illinois citizenship lawyer may also advise you to collect additional information based on the specifics of your situation.

How long is the Naturalization Process

The processing times may vary depending on the number of applicants applying and the complexities of a particular case, but most Naturalization Applications are processed in 6 to 12 months.

What is The Naturalization Exam?
The naturalization exam consists of two main areas:

  • U.S. Civics Exam
    • The Immigration Department – USCIS – provides us with 100 questions and answers on topics of U.S. history, government, geography, and similar civics issues.
    • During the Naturalization Interview, you will be asked any 10 of the 100 questions that are published.
    • You only need to get 6 of those questions correct, and many officers stop that part of the examination once you have reached the six correct answers.
    • Remember that all of the questions and answers are available to naturalization applicants ahead of time.
  • The English Speaking, Writing, and Reading Exam
    • The officer will assess your ability to speak English during the entire interview, although you may have an interpreter with you.
  • The officer will ask you to read one to three basic sentences aloud.
    • An example sentence: The first president of the United States was George Washington.
  • The officer will ask you to write one to three sentences.
    • An example sentence: Washington DC is the capital of The United States.
    • USCIS provides a list of words that applicants should write and read.

There are a few exceptions to taking the Naturalization Exams:

  • The English and Civics test may be waived due to a documented medical disability or a condition.
  • The English exam may be waived if you are 50 years old or older and have been a permanent resident for 20 or more years OR if you are 55 years old or older and have been a permanent resident for 15 or more years. In that case, you would still have to take the Civics Exam, but you could use an interpreter.

What Happens if I fail the exam?

Although it doesn’t happen often, applicants may return to retake the exam one more time without reapplying if they fail to pass it the first time.

You can prepare for the Naturalization Exam with the free study guides on the USCIS Naturalization Page.

Is a Citizenship Lawyer Required for A Naturalization Application?

You may be able to prepare the petitions and go through the process independently. However, submitting the petition incorrectly can lead to a denial that may have other consequences in the future. Not knowing all of the nuances involved can prolong the process. An experienced Immigration Lawyer can guide you through the entire Naturalization Process and help ensure a successful outcome. Having the assistance of an experienced citizenship immigration lawyer is also essential if the applicant has had any issues with immigration in the past, if the applicant has had prior arrests, serious financial problems, or other problems that could raise questions about the applicant having a good moral character.


Attorney Toma Makedonski offers a low-cost, flat fee in most cases, so you, as the client, know what your cost will be upfront. Toma Makedonski is a Chicago Illinois Immigration Lawyer with upfront, low-cost, flat fees on most immigration cases.

(773) 727-5491