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US Citizenship Application and Process

  • If you meet all the eligibility requirements to qualify for citizenship, the first step is to get Form N-400, the citizenship application and complete it.
  • At the time of your interview, you have to answer questions about your application. Keep this in mind while completing your citizenship application. Answer all questions honestly and ensure you have a copy of your submitted application.
  • You must take two passport-style photographs and make sure it meets the specifications.
  • You are required to send copies of certain documents with your application. What documents you have to send depends on your individual situation. Failure to send the additional documents with your application will result in unnecessary delay in the application process. Also ensure to send an English translation for documents that are not in English.
  • Mail your citizenship application with the fees and supporting documents directly to the Application Service Center that serves your area. If you mail your application to any other USCIS office, it will be returned.
  • After you mail your application, USCIS will send you a letter informing the date and place where your fingerprints will be taken.
  • Go to the fingerprinting location taking your notice letter from USCIS, your Permanent Resident Card, and any other form of identification and get your fingerprints taken. If you are 75 years or older, fingerprinting is not required.
  • After the biometrics, the FBI will check your background. Sometimes USCIS might request additional documents before they schedule your interview.
  • Once everything is ready, USCIS will schedule an interview and send a letter mentioning the date, time and place. Go to the office mentioned in the letter for the interview.
  • The interviewing officer will have questions regarding your background, all evidence supporting your case and about information you provided in your application.
  • Additionally your ability to read, write, and speak English will be tested. You will also be given a civics test to check your knowledge of U.S. history and government. Make sure you are well prepared for the citizenship test and interview. If you do not pass one or both the tests, the USCIS will reschedule you to come back for another test, normally within 60-90 days of having attended the first interview.
    Note: Certain applicants are exempted from taking the test considering their age and other medical reasons.
  • After the interview, you will be given Form N-652 that will have information about the results of your interview. The USCIS will either approve, continue or deny your case based on all the information you had given.
  • If your citizenship application is approved, you will be requested to attend a ceremony and take the Oath of Allegiance to the US. At the ceremony, you should return your Permanent Resident Card to USCIS. Note that you are not a U.S. citizen until you take the Oath of Allegiance at a formal naturalization ceremony.
  • If you are not able to attend the ceremony on the day you are supposed to, you should return the USCIS notice (Form N-445) to your designated USCIS office and request them to reschedule.
  • After you take the Oath, you will receive your Certificate of Naturalization which you can use as proof that you are a U.S. citizen.

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