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.
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.