Let’s face the facts: immigrating to the United States and winning full citizenship isn’t easy. Even if the process is smooth, you’ll still have to wait at least a few years before you can take your Oath of Allegiance and apply for a passport.
So why does anyone bother? Because if you handle your immigration to the United States the right way, you might be able to pull off the feat without a hitch.
There’s just one catch: you’ve got to know what you’re doing before you even start – or at least be willing to learn as you go along. That’s exactly what we’re about to tackle here, and we’ll do it in a set of three specific keys you can use to help ensure a steady, smooth immigration process. Ready to get started? We thought you’d never ask.
Key #1: Utilize your preexisting connections to the United States.
Granted, this is a key that not everyone who wants to get into the United States will automatically have. We understand that. But that’s the state of affairs: if you have a family member who already is a citizen in the United States, you stand a much higher chance of a swift immigration process than if you’re the first in your family to immigrate. The same is true of people who have found employment in the U.S.
So what’s your way in if you don’t have a connection to the U.S.? One of the best ways you can acquire a connection is to interview for American-based jobs. Having an employer ready to hire you as soon as you get to the U.S. can make the process that much more smooth – and, in fact, the employer might even be able to file your immigration requests on your behalf. This can put you on the fast track to a green card, which signifies your permanent resident status in the United States. From there, it’s often as simple as playing the waiting game until you’re eligible to take the proper citizenship tests.
Key #2: Make sure you know your stuff.
Knowing what to say on these citizenship tests is not enough. You should familiarize yourself with the immigration process in the United States as soon as possible. If you’re already immigrating to the U.S., you’ll hopefully know a lot more than will be explained in this article. But if you don’t, consider this your wake-up call: no one from the U.S. government is going to reach out and hold your hand through immigration. Instead, it will be on your hands. You have to make the immigration process work, filing the proper forms at the right time and being sure that you have honest answers to government questions.
But “knowing your stuff” does include what you’ll need to know to pass your citizenship test, so don’t let your knowledge of U.S. civics and history slide simply because you’re already confident in your knowledge. Some people even take classes in the U.S. to help them pass their citizenship exams, and that might not be a bad idea for you either.
Key #3: Be patient.
Filing an application for permanent legal residency can be a major pain – we get it. Not only do you have to wait several years to apply for your citizenship (and remember: time you spend outside the U.S. during this time doesn’t count) but you have to wait to hear back from the government during your application process. The key here is to be patient. Keep living your life as you always do – going to work, raising a family, meeting friends, etc.
But one word of warning: don’t be so patient that you don’t take action! You want to be patient as long as your forms are sent in and your application is being reviewed; in other words, be patient when there’s nothing else you can do to aid the immigration process. It might not always be easy, but in the long run, you’ll eventually reach your goal and your patience will have paid off.
Understanding these three keys should give you an idea of what you’re up against when you’re considering immigrating to the United States. It’s not always easy – in fact, it can seem downright hard. That’s why Key #3 will be so vital to your success — make sure that your goal really is to become a U.S. citizen and it will be much easier to endure the constant waiting. Just make sure your application was received!