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Naturalization Process

Before understanding the process, let us first understand the meaning of Naturalization.

In simplest words, Naturalization refers to the process of an individual becoming a citizen of USA. One needs to understand that obtaining a “green card” is not equivalent to being classified as a “citizen”. Although the rights and privileges, and the normal code of life may not differ at all between the two, however, it is only a citizen who becomes eligible to apply for an American passport. Thus, obtaining citizenship is nearly the last step in your American dream to come true.

Do also note that Naturalization is not specific to EB5 applicants. Any green card holder, whether having obtained green card under the EB5 route, or otherwise, would have to go through Naturalization in order to upgrade from green card to citizenship.

The question now is can any green card holder successfully apply for Naturalization, and what are the requirements to it?

There are various criteria in order to be eligible for Naturalization. For instance, the applicant has to be of good moral character. Another requirement is that the applicant must be at least 18 years at the time of applying. While most of these are self explanatory, there are three requirements which are extremely complex to understand. Most people, & at times including advisors, have interpreted it incorrectly. This article aims at simplifying them:

  1. Be a permanent resident (have a “Green Card”) for at least 5 years. Remarks by EB5 India Advisory Pvt. Ltd.: Do note that one needs to be a green card holder for 5 years. Imagine a common situation where in an applicant who spent 3 years on student visa, 6 years on H1B; following which he applied for a green card under EB5 scheme and spent 3 years. In this case, although his aggregate stay in USA is 12 years, irrespective of whether it is continuously or intermittently, and irrespective of whether physically or otherwise, he would still not be eligible for Naturalization unless he completes 5 years of holding green card.
  2. Demonstrate continuous residence in the United States for at least 5 years immediately preceding the date of filing. Remarks by EB5 India Advisory Pvt. Ltd.: By 5 years, USCIS does not expect you to physically remain present in USA for 5 years. It is common misconception that the applicant should spend 5 years physically. It is also a misconception that the 5 year period needs to be calculated and aggregated. For instance, someone may multiply 365 days * 5 years, and then try and achieve that number over a period of 10 years. However, that is not needed to be done. The objective of this particular requirement by USCIS is that applicant must be able to “demonstrate” that he stayed in USA for 5 years, and which may mean covering even those cases where the applicant has physically spent only 4 years as against 5 years.
  3. Physical presence in USA for 30 months out of the 5 years immediately preceding the date of filing Form N-400. Remarks by EB5 India Advisory Pvt. Ltd.: Unlike the above 2, which requires the applicant to “demonstrate” intent of having resided in USA, this criteria of 30 months, requires the applicant to “physically” reside. Hence, one can’t take the plea of justifying otherwise, irrespective of howsoever bona fide the intent be. Hence, one must calculate that the applicant has spent 30 months (which translates to ~913 days) in USA, physically.

Once all the criteria are met, the applicant needs to file Form N-400, which is the application form for Naturalization. Post that filing, biometrics needs to be taken care of, and which is finally followed by an interview.

We are a team of highly qualified professionals with dedicated specialization in intricacies surrounding the 6 year long EB5 application. For questions, you may write to india@eb5expert.in

Your success is ours; we will sort out everything for you. However, as a token of respect towards our professionalism, please do not seek for a free consultation.

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