The Process of Naturalization

Everything you Need to Know about Becoming a US Citizen

Step 1: Are you Already a Citizen??

One can become a United States citizen through birth or naturalization. If you were born in the United States, you're already a citizen. However, if you were born in a different country, but either both or one of your parents are citizens, then you are a citizen.

Step 2: Are You Eligible to Become a Citizen?

In order to qualify for citizenship, one must be at least 18 years of age and you must be a lawful resident of the United States. At the time of application, it is required that you have been present in the US for 5 or more years and you are of good moral character.


Once you have determined that you are eligible, you may begin your application. The best resource for your application is an experienced immigration attorney who will coach you through the test and interview preparation.

Step 3: Complete Your Application

With your attorney, you must:

  • Complete form N-400, the Application for Naturalization
  • Obtain two photographs that meet requirements (Photos are usually passport style)
  • Send your application with the appropriate amount of money ($320 application fee/ $70 fingerprinting fee) and a photocopy of both sides of your Visa or "Green Card" to the appropriate Service Center
  • Get fingerprinted (Must receive and appointment letter from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS))

Step 4: The Interview and Tests

Perhaps the hardest part of the naturalization process is the interview and the English and Citizenship tests. At this point, however, you and your attorney should have prepared you for both. In order to do this, you will receive your appointment and be required to be at your local office at the specified time. During the interview, you will answer questions about your application and background. Then you must take the English and Civics tests.



Step 5: Await the Decision

Step 6: Take the Oath of Allegiance

If you are approved for citizenship, you will have to take the Oath of Allegiance. For this you will:

  • Receive a ceremony date and attend the ceremony
  • Return your Visa or "Green Card"
  • Take the oath


You have now become a United States citizen through the process of naturalization!