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10 Steps to Naturalization

Updated: Apr 6, 2019

Here are 10 steps to guide you through the process of becoming a U.S. citizen

Step 1: Determine if you are already a U.S. citizen.

You can become a U.S. citizen by birth or through naturalization. Generally, people are born U.S. citizens

if they are born in the United States or if they are born abroad to U.S. citizens. You may also derive U.S.

citizenship as a minor following the naturalization of one or both parents.


Step 2: Determine your eligibility to become a U.S. citizen.

In general, you may qualify for naturalization if you are at least 18 years old and have been a permanent resident for at least 5 years (or 3 years if you are married to a U.S. citizen) and meet all other eligibility requirements. Refer to this official government list for all eligibility requirements.


Step 3: Prepare Application for Naturalization using FORM N-400.

Download the N-400 form. Review the instructions and complete the form. Make sure to use this checklist to help you completing the form.


Step 4: Submit Form N-400, Application for Naturalization.

Submit the completed form with all supporting documents and a check to the correct address. Check here for current fee and mailing address.


Step 5: Complete your Biometrics

After the N-400 application has been reviewed and accepted, you will receive an appointment letter from the USCIS for the date, time and location to have your fingerprints taken. Bring your USCIS letter, your permanent resident card, and another form of photo ID with you to the fingerprint location.  Once you have been fingerprinted and submitted any other documents that the USCIS may have requested,  you will await the USCIS letter for the scheduled interview, with the date, time and location.


Step 6: Receive Interview Notification

You will receive the USCIS letter with the interview appointment date, time and the location of the USCIS office where you will have your interview. It is very important not to miss your interview. If you have to miss your interview, you should write to the office where your interview is to be conducted as soon as possible and ask to have your interview rescheduled. Rescheduling an interview may add several months to the naturalization process, so make all attempts to attend your original interview date


Step 7: Interview

You must report to the USCIS office at the date and time on your appointment notice.

Make sure to dress professionally. Bring the appointment notice, all supporting documents and arrive early for the interview. Questions about your background, N-400 answers and your Citizenship eligibility will be asked.


Step 8: English Test & Civic Test

After the interview, the USCIS officer will give you two tests to complete.

The first one is the English test. It tests you on your ability to read, write and speak Basic English. Your ability to answer the N-400 questions will enable the officer to test your speaking skills. To pass the English test you must be able to read one sentence out of three and show that you understand the meaning of the sentence and write one sentence out of three and show that you understand the meaning of the sentence.

The second one is the Civic Test. To pass the civics part of the test, the USCIS officer will ask you ten questions (out of a possible 100) of which you must answer 6 out of 10 correctly. 

You can find the most accurate and up-to-date materials on our website to Ace your tests.


Step 9: Receive a Decision

Based on your interview and test responses, you application for U.S. Citizenship will either granted, continued or denied. If it is granted, you will receive a ceremony date; if it is continued (because of failing a part of the test), you will receive a second interview date and if it is denied, you will receive a letter of explanation from the USCIS, for which you can file an appeal.


Step 10: Take the Oath of Allegiance to the United States

If your application is granted, you will receive a date to take the Oath of Allegiance to the United States. The oath is administered by USCIS at an administrative ceremony or by a judge in a judicial ceremony. A court has exclusive authority to conduct the ceremonies in certain USCIS districts. You receive your Certificate of Naturalization and become a U.S. citizen after taking the Oath of Allegiance.


And that's it! Good luck to you all and make sure to visit the official USCIS website to get additional information.

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