7 U.S. Citizenship Myths Debunked

For generations of people all over the world, the United States has always been synonymous with endless opportunities and freedom without limits. Whether it’s the famed movie sets of Hollywood, the endless New York skyline, or the presidents of yesteryear carved into Mount Rushmore, the U.S. has long captured the world’s imagination.

But many immigrants to the U.S. find the citizenship process too difficult, or simply do not understand the requirements that are set by U.S. immigration services. Oftentimes immigrants know that becoming an American citizen starts by filing Form N-400, the citizenship application, but not much else, and thus instead fall for common citizenship myths. Below, we debunk a list of 7 of the most common myths about obtaining U.S. citizenship.

Citizenship tests are too hard

Some immigrants - especially older individuals - may find taking the civics exam of the citizenship test in English difficult. While the tests are indeed challenging and are designed to eliminate applicants who are not serious about becoming an American citizen, there are lots of free resources to help candidates prepare. If you fail the first time, no problem: you get a second opportunity.

Citizenship is too expensive

Yes it its. Becoming an american citizen is expensive and you must pay the fee to USCIS if you want to start with the process. While this is fee is certainly on the expensive side, maintaining your permanent residency status is even more expensive over time. This is because you have to renew your Green Card every 10 years, which means that you’ll need to pay $450 every time. Filing a U.S. citizenship application may be expensive, but once you’re an American citizen, you’ll never need another USCIS form again.

False Myths about US Citizenship Application

Citizenship is the same thing as permantent residency

Being an American citizen and having permanent residency are NOT the same thing. Among the key benefits once you become a U.S. citizen: you cannot be deported; you cannot have your citizenship taken away; your minor children automatically become citizens; and you will be able to vote and have your say in local and nationwide elections.

I can't get Citizenship if I have a criminal conviction

Having a criminal conviction in your background isn’t ideal, but it does not automatically disqualify you from citizenship. Several mitigating factors will be taken into account when making a decision on your application, including the type and severity of the crime, the time that has passed since the conviction, and a clean record since your arrest or detention.

I have to hire a lawyer to apply for Citizenship

Millions of immigrants have filed their N-400 form without the help of a legal professional. While seeking any kind of professional assistance may increase your chances of having your citizenship application approved, you are not obligated by USCIS or any other federal agency to hire a lawyer.

If I lie on my Citizenship Application, It will improve my chances

People interested in U.S. citizenship sometimes think that it’s okay to give misleading answers on their citizenship application. You should never lie on your N-400 or any other federal forms. In fact, if you are caught lying on your citizenship application, this could lead to criminal charges and may forever bar you from becoming an American citizen.

I can purchase the answers before I take the Citizenship test

While USCIS publishes a list of the questions that an interviewer can potentially ask you, no one except for the immigration officer who interviews you knows what questions you will be asked. If someone has offered to sell you the answers for the USCIS citizenship exam, be careful as this is most likely a scam.

Becoming an American citizen is neither easy or cheap, but the benefits of being a U.S. citizen far outweigh any inconveniences that you will have to face during the application process. A little education and having the correct information will go a long way toward helping you secure your lifelong dream of becoming a citizen of the United States.

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