To be eligible to undergo the naturalization process to become a US citizen, you must meet these requirements:
- Be 18 or older
- Be a Permanent Resident of the United States for at least 5 years immediately prior to the date you file your Application for Naturalization (form N-400)
- Have continuous residence in the United States as a Permanent Resident for at least 5 years immediately prior to the date you file your N-400
- Be physically present for at least 30 months out of the 5 years of Permanent Residency immediately prior to filing the N-400
- Live within the USCIS district of jurisdiction or your State of residence for at least 3 months prior to the date you file your N-400
- Reside continuously in the United States from the date you apply for naturalization to the time you are naturalized
- Be able to read, write and speak English, and have knowledge and an understanding of US history and government.
- Have good moral character, be attached to the principles of the Constitution of the United States, and be inclined toward maintaining the good order and happiness of the United States during all relevant periods under the law.
If you meet these qualifications, you may apply for naturalization by filling out the N-400 Application for Naturalization, and pay the filing fee, which is $675 in most cases, $595 for those over 75, and free for military applicants. Read the Guide to Naturalization Form M-476 (available through the USCIS) while applying, as it contains information to help you complete the N-400 Form. Check with the USCIS to determine where to mail your application.
You should take a practice Naturalization Test (on English and civics) before applying for citizenship, since after submitting your Form N-400 you'll be scheduled for an Interview that includes the Naturalization Test.
During the Interview, your fingerprints will be taken, you'll be asked about your application and your background, and you will take the Naturalization Test. If you pass the test and your background and application answers are approved, you'll be granted citizenship. If you do not pass the test, you will not be granted citizenship at that time, but you can retake the test at a later date.
You can complete Immigration Forms online and Find an Immigration Lawyer with Rocket Lawyer.
This article contains general legal information and does not contain legal advice. Rocket Lawyer is not a law firm or a substitute for an attorney or law firm. The law is complex and changes often. For legal advice, please ask a lawyer.