The process of becoming a United States citizen is the same for all states, including Hawaii, as it is a federally-administered process. There are two ways to become a citizen in Hawaii: by being born there or through the act of naturalization. There are specific requirements for achieving citizenship, through naturalization, in the United States.
In order to apply for naturalization to gain citizenship in Hawaii or any other state, the applicant must have been a legal resident of the United States for at least five years and be physically present in the country for at least half of that time. He must also have not spent more than a year at a time outside of the United States and been a resident of Hawaii for at least three months.
Once a potential applicant fulfills the residency requirements, she can begin the application process by submitting Form N-400 to the local office of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). In addition to Form N-400, the applicant must also include a copy of her green card, required photos and the assigned fee. Typically, it takes many months for the application to be processed. When it has been reviewed, the applicant will be called in to get fingerprinted.
After the application has been processed, the potential citizen will be called in for an interview, where he must complete a citizenship test. The test evaluates the applicant's fluency with the English language, as well as his knowledge of United States history and governmental procedures. Applicants with disabilities can request special accommodations. If the applicant is successful on the test and has fulfilled all other requirements, he will receive notification of an oath swearing ceremony to become a citizen.
Good Moral Character
In order to become a United States citizen, the applicant must possess "good moral character." This is typically measured by the potential citizen's legal record. Any offense of a particular gravity will likely disqualify the applicant for citizenship. Examples of offenses that will prevent a foreign national from becoming a citizen include significant tax evasion, rape, smuggling, being convicted of two or more offenses with a total sentence of five years or more, and many other serious felonies and misdemeanors. In addition to criminal offenses, the applicant cannot be a habitual drunkard or earn her income from gambling.
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