Naturalization is the process through which people born outside the United States become citizens of the United States. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) grants you lawful permanent residency through the naturalization procedure (USCIS). To apply, you must meet the conditions outlined in the Immigration and Nationality Act, which Congress created.
One of the most important decisions an immigrant may make is to become a citizen of the United States. Obtaining citizenship may be possible in various methods, depending on your circumstances.
The most noticeable difference between naturalization and citizenship by acquisition is how one becomes a citizen. For people over the age of 18, naturalization is the process of applying for citizenship. The term “acquisition of citizenship” refers to someone who obtains citizenship as a result of being:
Understanding the Citizenship Process in the United States-
(Make sure you fulfill all eligibility standards before applying and see if you qualify for any exceptions or modifications.)
What to do: If you are not a U.S. citizen by birth or did not acquire or derive U.S. citizenship from your parent(s) automatically after birth, go to the next step.
What to do: Review the naturalization eligibility worksheet (PDF, 300.55 KB) to help you decide if you are eligible to apply for naturalization.
This form is available to file online. Start by creating your free online account.
What to do:
This form is available to file online. You may also pay your fees online.
Once you submit Form N-400, USCIS will send you a receipt notice. You can check case processing times and your case status online.
What to do: If you need to take biometrics, USCIS will give you an appointment notice with the date, time, and location of your biometrics appointment. At the appointed time, arrive at the assigned spot. Make an appointment to have your biometrics taken.
USCIS will schedule an interview with you to complete the naturalization process once all of the preliminary steps on your application are completed. You must appear in person at the USCIS office on the date and time specified on your appointment notice. Please remember to bring your appointment notice.
USCIS will mail a notice of the decision to you. If you filed your N-400 online, you could also access the electronic notice in your account.
What to expect: If USCIS approves your Form N-400 in step 7, you may be able to participate in a naturalization ceremony on the same day as your interview. If a same-day naturalization ceremony is unavailable, USCIS will mail you a notification with your scheduled ceremony’s date, time, and location. If you filed your N-400 online, you could also access the electronic notice in your application.
You are not a U.S. citizen until you take the Oath of Allegiance at a naturalization ceremony.
What to do:
Citizenship is the common thread that connects all Americans. Check out this list of some of the fundamental rights and responsibilities that all citizens—both Americans by birth and by choice—should exercise, honor, and respect.
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