The Naturalization Process

Naturalization is the process of becoming a U.S. citizen. The process can be long and confusing, but the benefits of citizenship are well worth it. Here’s an overview of the steps to U.S. citizenship and more free naturalization resources.

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What are the eligibility requirements for naturalization?

There are a few different paths to naturalization, but most applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • Be at least 18 years old at the time of filing Form N-400, Application for Naturalization.
  • Be a permanent resident (have a “Green Card”) for at least 5 years.
  • Show that you have lived for at least 3 months in the state or USCIS district where you apply.
  • Demonstrate continuous residence in the United States for at least 5 years immediately preceding the date of filing Form N-400.
  • Show that you have been physically present in the United States for at least 30 months out of the 5 years immediately preceding the date of filing Form N-400.
  • Be able to read, write, and speak basic English.
  • Have a basic understanding of U.S. history and government (civics).
  • Be a person of good moral character.
  • Demonstrate an attachment to the principles and ideals of the U.S. Constitution.

How long does the naturalization process take?

It generally takes 6 months from the time you submit your application to receive a decision. However, it takes several years to become eligible for citizenship. Typically, you must be a permanent resident for at least 5 years before you qualify for naturalization.

What is the application process for naturalization?

The application for naturalization is the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Form N-400, Application for Naturalization. You must first submit this application and then, once it is approved, you will visit a USCIS office for your citizenship interview and test.

What is the citizenship interview and test?  

Every naturalization applicant must attend a citizenship interview. During the interview, a USCIS officer will ask you questions confirming your identity and eligibility for citizenship. You will also take the citizenship test.

The citizenship test is 2 part: English and civics. In order to qualify for U.S. citizenship, you must be able to read, write and speak basic English. You will be tested on your speaking ability throughout the interview and you will take a reading and writing test. You will be required to read and write 1 sentence. For the civics test, you will be asked 10 questions from a list of 100. You must get six correct. You will be given the list of 100 questions to study from.

There are some exceptions to the U.S. citizenship test. Learn more about them here.

Free Naturalization Resources

How To Apply for U.S. Citizenship

A comprehensive guide on the U.S. citizenship application process.

Could you pass the U.S. citizenship test? — Try it now

Take a free quiz to see if you’re ready to take the naturalization test.

Form N-400 Instructions

Detailed instructions, tips, and explanations for the USCIS application for citizenship/ naturalization.

What are the requirements for citizenship?

Discover if you qualify for naturalization. All requirements listed including exceptions.

Video: Citizenship Requirements for 5-Year Green Card Holders

Watch to see if you qualify for naturalization as a U.S. permanent resident.

Customer Story: Rosa Maravilla

See how helped Rosa complete her dream of becoming a U.S. citizen.


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