Becoming a citizen of the United States can take a long time and requires applicants to fulfill numerous requirements. Many people submit their paperwork only to find that their efforts and application fees have gone to waste because of an error or oversight. Others spend a great deal of money to hire an immigration attorney. Silicon Valley-based FileRight.com offers a better alternative. Here is how you can move forward in becoming a U.S. citizen with ease and confidence:

Getting started

Before you begin working on your application for U.S. citizenship, it’s important to make sure you meet the eligibility requirements. FileRight offers a free questionnaire to evaluate whether you are ready.

Before you begin working on your application for U.S. citizenship, it’s important to make sure you meet the eligibility requirements. FileRight offers a free questionnaire to evaluate whether you are ready.

According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, an applicant for naturalization should be at least 18 years old and have spent five years as a permanent resident of the U.S. That residency requirement may drop to three years if you have been married to a U.S. citizen throughout that same period.

To become a citizen, you should be able to speak, read and write English. You must possess good moral character and have a general knowledge of the nation’s history and form of government. Except under certain approved circumstances, successful applicants have not been outside of the country for 30 months or more or taken a single trip for over a year during the past five years

If you are not yet a permanent resident holding a green card, that should be your next step. First, you need to be sponsored by a relative or employer  who is currently a citizen or permanent resident. Then, you can file Form I-485 to change your status and begin your journey to becoming a citizen. FileRight offers a filing package that will guide you through requesting an adjustment of status.

Completing your paperwork

If you meet the eligibility requirements for citizenship, you may be ready to fill out the USCIS Form N-400 application for naturalization. You will file the form along with supporting documents to show that the information you provided is accurate.

You can make this process far simpler by using FileRight. The online software will lead you through completing the application by asking a single question at a time. The program offers detailed explanations for every item in both English and Spanish and is backed by 24-hour support.

Once you have finished the application, FileRight checks your responses to prevent errors, missing information or inconsistencies. Then, you can print out a correctly formatted document, complete with a barcode that expedites USCIS processing. The program provides personalized instructions so you’ll know how to file the application with the government, including any applicable fees.

Next steps

Processing applications for naturalization takes an average of six months from the date when you file with USCIS. With FileRight, you’ll have peace of mind from knowing that you can receive a full refund of your filing package purchase price, plus any government fees, if your application is rejected.

When USCIS has reviewed your application, you will likely need to attend a biometrics appointment to be fingerprinted. Then, you will be scheduled to take a citizenship test to check your knowledge of the English language, as well as U.S. history and civics. You will also undergo an interview to verify the information you provided on the application.

Later, USCIS will notify you of its decision. The department may either immediately grant or deny you citizenship. If the decision is continued, you could be required to supply further documentation or retake the exam. If your application is approved, you will attend a ceremony to take the Oath of Allegiance and complete your long journey to becoming a U.S. citizen.

If you wish to obtain a U.S. passport, vote in elections and ensure that your children possess all the rights and privileges of citizens, you should begin on your path to naturalization today. Keep in mind that backlogs and other delays can occur, so the the sooner you begin, the better. FileRight will have your back along the way, making sure you have up-to-date forms and understand precisely what you need to do to move forward.

Meet Rosa, She just became a U.S. citizen with FileRight.com