3. Can refugees obtain citizenship?

Any Green Card holder who has been living in the USA for at least 5 years (3

years if your spouse is already a US citizen) and meets all other criteria can become a US citizen. A refugee, who also wants to become a citizen of the United States, must also meet all these requirements. A refugee is a person who has been forced to leave his home country for fear of persecution, war or violence. As a rule, these people become victims of oppression through their religion, political views or race. If you arrived in the United States as a refugee or a refugee family member, you can get a Green Card (Green Card through a refugee) after a year of staying in the country.

In order to get a Green Card, a refugee must apply for it filling in Form I-485, an application for registration of a permanent place of residence or change of status. Form I-485 includes immigration history, criminal history and other important information. Additionally form G-325A, which indicates biographical data: family information, previous addresses and work places is needed to be filled in. Together with the application refugees also submit form I-693. It requires a medical commission — physiological testing made by a doctor appointed by the USCIS. After commission the doctor fills in the form and places it into a sealed envelope. This envelope must not be opened by an applicant or any other person — it should be sent sealed together with other documents. After receiving Green Card, refugees can apply for US citizenship.

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