“Want U.S. citizenship? Then apply for U.S. citizenship. Start the green card process.” In other words, just apply for citizenship. Simple as that. By the way, this is something someone actually said to me on Facebook.
The number of times I’ve heard this or seen it posted on social media is ridiculous. How ignorant, like if it were that easy. The amount of money being spent can feel like millions for people who can’t afford much and the time can take from a few months to years. It all just depends on the families case. Not to mention that there are times when a case is put on hold because of more paperwork that is suddenly required and needed. Which then again, increases the time of the process of "becoming a citizen."
I decided to ask my parents about this whole situation because they are more aware of this process due to the fact that they have been in the process for the past four years. My mom said that the first time she had to pay was for more than two thousand dollars for her and another two thousand for my dad. If I remember what my mom had said correctly, this was for the work permit. They then had to file Form N-400 and pay more expenses. More money and time.
They were finally put in the process for the US citizenship not too long ago, which is an amazing thing. Though it is said that this will take up to six months or more. Sometimes they are being asked for more paperwork which holds the case and time is extended.
In order to apply for US citizenship, which is what my parents are in the process of now, one needs to have already filed Form N-400, which is the Application for Naturalization. For the Form N-400; the filing fee total is $680. The fee is generally $595 but the biometric fee is added which then makes it $680.
There are 10 steps in the Naturalization Process: first is pretty obvious; to determine if you are a US citizen. Step two is to determine if you are eligible to become a citizen. Check out naturalization eligibility worksheet. Step three is to prepare the Form N-400, which is now the application for Naturalization, and step four is to submit. Step five is when you get an appointment, and step six is when you get an interview. Step seven: you receive the decision from the USCIS next. Step eight, you receive a notice to take the Oath of Allegiance and step nine is when one takes the Oath of Allegiance to the USA. Finally, step ten is “understanding the US citizenship.” Simple, right?
Just follow those ten simple steps and you’re set. Your American citizenship is on your way.
Truthfully, this all is complicated; the whole Form 400, the green card, the work permit, etc. People can’t fully understand unless they’re part of the process or intensely research all about it.
The ones who come here undocumented endure many struggles on their way here and while they're here. Many which are unacknowledged, and for people to comment and say "just apply" like if it were easy makes me mad. I despise that I hear it all the time. Things like: “Why do they come here?” “Why can’t they just come here legally?” "Do they have green cards?" "Do they even speak English well enough to be here?" Are you aware of the process it takes to become “legal”? The years it can take. Not just that but sometime undocumented immigrants never get approved. They have to live in hiding.
It's not as easy as it seems. So please stop with this ignorance.
This is why I will never not talk about my parents or how they got here or what they've had to do to get here. I am beyond proud of my parents and where they're from and the struggles they've encountered. This is the reason that I will always stand up for undocumented immigrants. I'm proud that I'm a child of undocumented immigrants.