Becoming a U.S. Citizen: A Guide to the Law, Exam & Interview

Becoming a U.S. Citizen: A Guide to the Law, Exam & Interview

by Ilona Bray J.D.

NOOK BookNinth Edition (eBook - Ninth Edition)

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Everything you need to become a naturalized U.S. citizen

The sooner a green card holder becomes a U.S. citizen, the sooner he or she gains a host of benefits: the right to vote and apply for certain federal jobs, faster immigration for family, protection against deportation or new anti-immigration legislation, and more.

But the application process itself can be long and confusing—and at worst, create a risk of deportation. With Becoming a U.S. Citizen, you can save months, or even years, and avoid complications.

Learn how to:

  • make sure you are eligible for citizenship
  • understand the risks and rewards of applying
  • fill out application forms
  • study for the citizenship exam
  • interview successfully, and
  • deal with any setbacks.

Becoming a U.S. Citizen also shows you how to ask for a reduced fee or take advantage of special exceptions if you have a disability, are in the military, or are the spouse of a U.S. citizen.

The 9th edition is updated with the latest laws, procedures, and government policies. It includes sample forms, handy checklists, and a study guide to the citizenship exam.


Readers should take note that a new version of the Form N-400 application for citizenship came out in September 2019, subsequent to this book's printing. Fortunately it's almost identical: the same questions in the same order. Thus the instructions in Nolo's book are still valid. However, please take note of a printing error in this ninth edition. While the instructions correctly explain that only certain types of people can safely answer "No" to any of Questions 45-50 in Part 12 of the form (asking about things like support for the Constitution and willingness to serve in U.S. armed forces), and that most people should answer "Yes" to all, the sample form shows "X" marks in the "No" column. Readers should disregard this portion of the sample. For more info check the update here:

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781413326765
Publisher: NOLO
Publication date: 09/01/2019
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 360
File size: 37 MB
Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

About the Author

Ilona Bray, J.D. is an award-winning author and legal editor at Nolo, specializing in immigration law, real estate, and nonprofit fundraising. She has been quoted as a real estate expert in publications across the country, including Money Magazine, Kiplinger, the New York Times, the Boston Herald, and the San Francisco Chronicle. Many of her books are consistent Nolo bestsellers, among them Effective Fundraising for Nonprofits, U.S. Immigration Made Easy, and Nolo's Essential Guide to Buying Your First Home. She particularly enjoys interviewing people and weaving their stories into her books.
Bray's working background includes solo practice, nonprofit, and corporate stints, as well as long periods of volunteering, including an internship at Amnesty International's main legal office in London. She received her law degree and a Master's degree in East Asian (Chinese) Studies from the University of Washington. In her spare time she enjoys writing children’s books, going to open houses, and gardening.

Table of Contents

1. Deciding Whether to Apply for Citizenship 2. Are You Eligible for U.S. Citizenship? 3. Preparing and Submitting Your Application 4. Between Filing and Interview: Dealing With the Wait 5. Preparing for the English Exam 6. Preparing for the U.S. History and Government Exam 7. Overcoming Disability When Applying for Citizenship 8. The Interview 9. Denials, Appeals, and Repeat Interviews 10. Legal Help Beyond This Book 11. After You Are Approved Glossary Index


For attorneys who work with immigrants, one of the most rewarding parts of the job is seeing clients’ joy at becoming U.S. citizens. It represents so much—years of effort getting through the immigration bureaucracy, acceptance into U.S. society, new opportunities to participate in the democratic process, and ability to petition for immediate or close family members.
It’s also security against deportation. Although green card holders (lawful permanent residents) have a right to remain in the U.S. and work here, they can be removed on various grounds, and are subject to the latest whims of Congress or the federal government. That makes this a particularly important time for citizen seekers to carefully examine their eligibility and avoid mistakes when applying, which this book helps readers do.

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