Home to over 330 million people, America stands as a beacon of opportunity for people seeking a better life. Drawn by its foundational values of liberty and democracy, immigrants arrive in abundance every year, looking to uplift their living standards and seeking countless growth possibilities.

Being a hotspot of cultures from all over the world, the country’s cuisine, music, art, and architecture reflect stark diversity, in its truest sense. Lofty mountains, sweeping prairies, lush forests, and desert vistas are the major attractions in this vast country.

Talking of acquiring American citizenship, different relocating individuals have different motivations behind the same. For some,  it is the chance to be part of a diverse and vibrant culture. For others, it is the opportunity to live in this leading country with a robust economy and a lavish standard of living, drawn to its commitment to democracy and freedom. 

All in all, it’s no hidden fact that this world leader is a land of opportunity, where people from all walks of life achieve their dreams after becoming American nationals.

Pathways to the U.S. Citizenship for Filipinos

Becoming an American citizen, or any other state’s citizen for that matter, is a significant milestone in an individual’s life. 

The road to becoming a U.S. citizen has its challenges, but the rewards make it worthwhile. For green card holders and immigrants alike, U.S. citizenship represents a chance to truly call this country their own. 

1. Getting the Green Card 

Before you can embark on your journey to becoming a U.S. citizen, you’ll need to obtain a Green Card, also known as lawful permanent residency. There are various pathways to obtain a U.S Green Card, including family sponsorships, employment-based status, through Asylum (Refugee Status) and through Diversity Visa Lottery scheme. 

Getting in touch with a field expert to gain insights about the detailed requirements of each method is highly recommended to determine the best possible option, suiting your personal preferences, 

2. Naturalization Process

Before becoming fully American through the process of naturalization, applicants must check off key eligibility boxes, as outlined by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Some of the standard requirements in American naturalization include:

  • Residency: You must have physically lived in the U.S. for 5 continuous years as a permanent resident or 3 years if married to an American citizen), demonstrating your commitment to making America home.
  • Linguistic Proficiency: Reading, writing, and speaking skills in English are required to naturalize in the country. This ensures you can fully participate in the nation’s civic and social life. In addition, you’ll be required to pass a civics test on the basic knowledge of topics like government and the history of the nation. However, exceptions are made for certain age groups. 
  • Background Checks: Demonstrating good moral character is essential during your quest to become an American citizen. Most individuals pass, but background checks are vital, and help ensure the integrity of future citizens. Criminal history or other red flags can derail applications. 

Meeting each of the above requirements brings you another step closer to naturalization and the benefits that await. With diligence and patience, and having Passport Legacy by your side, guiding you throughout the process, the journey of moving to this dream-like nation of the U.S. becomes an adventure of a lifetime.

Navigating the Naturalization Process

Being a multi-step procedure, citizenship through naturalization in the U.S. requires careful preparation and an eye for detail. This part of the article guides you through the essential aspects of the naturalization process, from start to finish:

1. Application Submission

Here’s everything you need to know about the process of naturalization in the United States:

N-400 Form: Officially called the Application for Naturalization, the N-400 form is the official citizenship application of the country, available at the Citizenship and Immigration Services portal. It provides the gateway to the citizenship process in the U.S.

Applicants should ensure every necessary documentation is gathered beforehand. Having your correct personal details, background information, and residency history organized allows you to fill out the form fully and accurately.

Attachments and Fees: Gather supporting documents, including your Green Card, tax records, and any other documentation requested by USCIS. Then, pay the required filing fees along with your application. 

The USCIS keeps on updating these fees, so it’s highly advisable to get in touch with a seasoned citizenship service in order to avoid unnecessary costs.

2. Biometrics 

After submitting the application, you shall move further to a biometrics appointment. The USCIS, in this appointment, collects your credentials, such as your portrait photograph, fingerprints, and signature. 

3. Citizenship Interview

Being perhaps the most crucial step in the naturalization process, your American citizenship interview includes the following:

  1. A Civics exam- test your general knowledge about American history and political background.
  2. An English test- assessing your written, spoken, and reading proficiency in the language.
  3. An interview- based on the tests.

4. Allegiance Oath 

Taking the oath reflects your solemn commitment to uphold the principles and laws of the States. Upon successful solemnization of the same, a Certificate of Naturalization, officially confirming your U.S. citizenship, shall be received by you.

Benefits of American Citizenship from the Philippines

Becoming a U.S. citizen comes with a bunch of alluring benefits. From having voting rights and travel freedom to experiencing a promising employment scenario and protection from deportation, getting American citizenship opens dozens of fresh doors of opportunities. 

The Pew Research Center, in its 2022 study, revealed that 71% of U.S. citizens believe it is important to vote in every election. Being an informed and aware individual, you shall have the opportunity to be a part of the election process at the root level to make a practical change in the political picture of the nation.

U.S. citizenship also enables more accessible international travel with an American passport. Visa restrictions are minimal, allowing people to explore the world more freely. After fulfilling residency requirements, naturalized citizens can also sponsor certain family members to gain green cards.

Known for its one of the strongest passports in the world, America promises visa-free access to 186 countries.

Additionally, a number of jobs in the federal government require U.S. citizenship, hence, attaining nationality in the state opens up the doors to potential individuals to lead a comfortable life, working in the government sector of the country.

As per the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, approximately 4.2 million people are employed by the federal government, and over 99% of them are U.S. citizens.

In addition to the above-mentioned advantages, other remarkable benefits of gaining U.S citizenship from the Philippines include the provision of sponsoring certain family members for Green Cards, Protection from Deportation, etc. Gaining these benefits might take your patience and effort, but U.S. citizenship is a milestone worth striving for. With so many doors opened, it’s easy to understand its immense appeal.

Post-Naturalization Considerations and Tips

Having successfully navigated the naturalization process, it’s even more necessary to consider the legal implications and formal requirements during your post-naturalization life. Adjusting to your new status and making the most of all its benefits takes careful planning and effort.

Find below some of the most helpful, hand-picked, practical tips to help you make the most of U.S citizenship and, at the same time, lead a carefree life in the States:

1. Duo Citizenship

Though the dual/duo citizenship offered by the U.S. has its obvious advantages, like easier travel and business operations abroad, the legal complexities entailing the same shouldn’t be overlooked. 

Conducting detailed research helps you fully understand the pros and cons from an American and a foreign country’s perspective.

Some countries may not recognize dual citizenship, while others have specific requirements or restrictions. It’s advisable to consult with legal professionals or authorities in both the U.S. and your home country to ensure you comply with all relevant laws.  

Determining tax implications, military service requirements, and other obligations of holding two passports are some of the considerations to take care of.

2. Engage in Civic Activities

As a U.S. citizen, you have the privilege of participating in the democratic process. Get involved in your local community by attending town hall meetings, joining civic organizations, or volunteering for causes that matter to you. Voting in elections, whether at the local, state, or federal level, is not just a right but also a civic duty.

3. Travel Opportunities

With a U.S. passport, you gain access to a wide range of travel opportunities. Explore the world and take advantage of the freedom to travel to many countries without the need for visas or complicated immigration procedures.

Legal Responsibilities

Remember that U.S. citizenship also comes with certain legal responsibilities, such as paying taxes on your worldwide income. It’s important to stay informed about your legal obligations as a U.S. citizen and fulfill them accordingly.

A Better Home Away From Home

Becoming an American citizen opens up a world of new possibilities. If you’re committed to making the United States your permanent home through descent or through the naturalization process, you have affirmed your belief in American values.

It’s worth mentioning here that individuals looking to call the U.S. their second home should be aware while making a harmonious balance between feeling pride in their identity and embracing American responsibility. Being an active citizen means staying engaged, voting, volunteering, and actively participating in society.

While it stands true that the American naturalization journey requires dedication and hard work, having a solid pre-planning and holding hands with the U.S. naturalization experts at Passport Legacy ensures sure-shot, quick success. 

With our expertise, combined with your commitment, you shall be able to call this remarkable, one-of-a-kind nation in no time.

Guest Post by Ria West: A short story writer, blogger, and author at multiple websites. With a dedicated focus on Lifestyle, Investment, and Business Ideas, Ria has established herself as a trusted voice in these spheres, consistently delivering compelling and informative content.

How to Become an American Citizen from Philippines – A Detailed Overview

By Ameena Rey-Franc

Recognized as one of the Top Finance Blogs in the PH. Ameena Rey-Franc (founder of TTP) is a former Banker and BS Accountancy graduate turned Blogger, Keynote Speaker, and entrepreneur. Currently an RFP delegate, she is also the Author of a book about Financial Resilience and has held seminars for reputable companies like GrabFoodPH, Pru Life UK, VISA, JPMorgan Chase& Co., Paypal, Fundline, Moneymax, and many more. The Thrifty Pinay's mission is to empower women to LEARN, EARN, and be FINANCIALLY-INDEPENDENT no matter what life stage they are in.