Michelle and Savannah

Applying for Naturalization

You apply for a green card and then you must live at a permanent residence for 3-5 year. Then you may qualify to apply for Naturalization.

The Test

You are required to take both a Civics and English test. You may also exempt the English Test, if you are 50 years or older and have lived in the U.S. for 20 or more years.

If you fail you have to wait 60 to 90 days to retake.


If you have a mental impairment or physical or developmental disability you may be eligible for exception for the English and Civics tests. To request the exception you must submit Form N-648, Medical Certification for Disability Exceptions. This must be completed by a licensed professional. If you can't read English very well you can take the Civics test in your native language. You must bring your own interpreter with you and they have to be fluent in English and your native language.

Naturalization Ceremonies

There are two types of ceremonies: a judicial ceremony and an administrative ceremony. During the ceremonies you return your Permanent Residence Card, take the Oath of Allegiance, receive your Certificate of Naturalization, apply for a passport, and update your social security records. This is the completion of the process of becoming a U.S. citizen.


You must show that you have lived continuously in the U.S. for five years before applying or lived continuously for three years if your is a citizen of the United States. A prolonged absence to another country may disrupt your application process. If you work abroad for the Military, or a contractor of the U.S. Government there will be an exception for your application process.