Citizenship enhances meaningful participation and incorporation into American society. More importantly, naturalization directly connects individuals to the fundamental ideals of American democracy by enabling them to contribute to civic life in their local communities.

Much like in past historical periods, today’s immigrants express and demonstrate a desire to take the final step towards becoming part of our nation by obtaining citizenship. While there are clear incentives to pursue naturalization, there are a number of significant factors that prevent individuals from becoming citizens and prohibit their pursuit of the American Dream. These include: application-processing delays, high application fees, and limited access to English language programs, among others.

NCLR supports policies that streamline the naturalization process by setting reasonable processing periods, improving document status checks, and ensuring that citizenship remains accessible to eligible immigrants. Naturalization policies should promote the integration of immigrants wishing to pursue citizenship by addressing existing procedural barriers and providing individuals with appropriate educational and institutional support throughout the process.

Resources for Service Providers

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Resources

Related Resources