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Naturalization Guide

1. Citizenship application

Applying for citizenship will involve completing the N-400, collecting the appropriate documents and submitting the package to a USCIS office. It is important to retain copies of all of the documents, originals or not, when you send the package in to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Naturalization Guide

For a more detailed description of the application process refer to this page.

2. Citizenship Requirements

In order to become a United States Citizen you must fulfill certain qualities and requirements. These include:

  • Permanent resident status and length of time that you have had your green card,
  • Continuous residence,
  • Your physical presence in the United States,
  • Proficiency in the English language,
  • Knowledge of the United States government and history,
  • And a dedication to the United States Constitution.

For more information on the requirements you need to fulfill in order to become a United States Citizen click here.

3. Citizenship Appointment and interview

After you have submitted your application you are to wait to receive a notice in the mail that will instruct you to have your fingerprints taken. Then, you will be contacted again to schedule an interview.

Showing up on-time and prepared to the interview is of paramount importance since any errors in this step will lead to lengthy delays in the process for citizenship. However, if you are attentive and careful you will pass the interview with flying colors.

The interview will be composed of enquiry of your documentation and why you wish to become a citizen. There will also be a set of tests on your English language proficiency and your knowledge of United States history and government. For more information on the citizenship test click here.

The interview is designed to determine if you are ready to become a United States citizen and if you are you are ready to move on to step number five: Becoming a Citizen.

For more information regarding the Citizenship interview click here.

4. Citizenship Test

Part of the interview will include tests that examine whether or not you possess general knowledge that naturalized citizens are required to have.

One test will determine your proficiency in the English language and you will have to demonstrate that you can read, write and speak English well enough to satisfy the USCIS officer.

The other test will illustrate your knowledge of the history and government of the United States, also known as civics. Out of ten questions that you will be asked you must answer six correctly.

Click here for more information on the English and Civics tests.

5. Becoming a Citizen

Once your application has been approved you then will schedule a day for your swearing-in ceremony. This is a very important event and should be treated with respect.

Sometimes you can do your ceremony on the day that your application has been granted, but sometimes you may have to have your ceremony later. The USCIS officer will tell you when you need to come in for the ceremony. Be sure to arrive half an hour early and in appropriate clothing on the day of the swearing-in.

Before the Ceremony

On the day of your ceremony you will turn in your permanent residence card because after that day you will no longer need it! If you were not able to be sworn-in on the day that your application was accepted you will be asked about what you have been up to in the mean-time. This is to make sure that you are still eligible for citizenship.

The Oath of Allegiance and Certificate of Naturalization

Now it is time to take the oath. The oath is composed of a series of covenants that you are making with the United States and stating your loyalty to the country. You will be asked to:

  • Renounce your citizenship and loyalty to any other country that you belonged to before,
  • That you will protect the United States,
  • That your allegiance belongs to the United States,
  • That you will join the military if, in the unlikely event, that the government needs you to,
  • And that you are taking this oath of your own free will and desire.

You can, of course, have this oath modified if you object to certain parts of it for religious reasons, but you must ask the USCIS for a modified oath.

After you have taken the oath you are an official United States citizen, entitled to all of the benefits that come with that status. You will also receive a certificate of naturalization that proves that you are now a citizen.

After Becoming a U.S. Citizen

You will have to contact the Social Security Administration to inform them that you are a citizen now and receive a new social security card.

You can also apply for a United States passport now that you are an official naturalized citizen.

Now that you are a citizen of the United States you can enjoy all of the privileges that other citizens have. You will be able to participate in the democratic process to any degree that you see fit, with only a few limitations. You can get a federal job. Getting your family into the United States will be much easier than if you were just a permanent resident. And, you can publically show your loyalty to the country that you have chosen to live your life in with your United States Citizen Certificate!