American citizenship by naturalization

American citizenship by naturalization is the process through which foreign nationals become citizens of the United States. To be eligible for naturalization, individuals must meet certain requirements outlined by U.S. immigration laws.

How to get citizenship by naturalization in the USA

Here are the general steps involved in the naturalization process:

  1. Eligibility. Applicants must meet specific criteria to qualify for naturalization. Some of the common requirements include being at least 18 years old, having lawful permanent resident status (holding a Green Card) for a certain period, and demonstrating continuous residence and physical presence in the United States. Additional requirements include good moral character, knowledge of the English language, and an understanding of U.S. history and government.
  2. Application. The first step is to complete and submit Form N-400, the Application for Naturalization, to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Along with the application, applicants must provide supporting documents, such as proof of identity, proof of lawful permanent resident status, and evidence of meeting the residency and physical presence requirements.
  3. Biometrics. After applying, applicants will receive a notice from USCIS to appear for biometrics collection. This typically involves having fingerprints taken and sometimes a photograph.
  4. Interview and Examination. Once the biometrics process is complete, applicants will be scheduled for an interview with a USCIS officer. During the interview, the officer will review the application, ask questions about the applicant’s background and eligibility, and test their knowledge of English and civics. The English and civics tests assess the applicant’s ability to speak, read, write, and understand basic English and their knowledge of U.S. history and government.
  5. Oath of Allegiance. If the application is approved, applicants will be scheduled for a ceremony where they will take the Oath of Allegiance to the United States. This oath signifies their commitment to uphold the rights and responsibilities of U.S. citizenship. After taking the oath, individuals become U.S. citizens.
  6. Certificate of Naturalization. Following the oath ceremony, applicants receive a Certificate of Naturalization as proof of their U.S. citizenship. This document is important for obtaining a U.S. passport, applying for government benefits, and other purposes.

Documentation and Application

here are some common documents that are typically needed:

  1. Proof of Identity.
  2. Proof of Lawful Permanent Resident Status.
  3. Residence and Physical Presence Documents.
  4. Marriage Certificate or Divorce Decree (if applicable).
  5. Proof of Good Moral Character.
  6. English Language Proficiency and Civics Knowledge.
  7. Application Forms and Fees.

Dual Nationality

The United States generally allows its citizens to hold dual nationality, which means that you can be a citizen of the United States and also a citizen of another country.


How long do I need to be a permanent resident before I can apply for naturalization?

Generally, you must be a lawful permanent resident (Green Card holder) for at least five years before you can apply for naturalization. However, if you are married to a U.S. citizen, the requirement is reduced to three years of permanent residency.

What are the residency and physical presence requirements for naturalization?

As an applicant for naturalization, you must demonstrate continuous residence in the United States for a specific period of time. This means that you have maintained a primary residence in the U.S. and have not been outside the country for extended periods. The general requirement is to have been physically present in the U.S. for at least half of the required residency period.

Do I need to speak English to become a U.S. citizen?

Yes, a basic level of English proficiency is required for naturalization. You will need to demonstrate your ability to read, write, speak, and understand simple English sentences during the naturalization interview. There are exemptions for individuals who are elderly or have certain physical or mental disabilities.

What is the civics test, and how can I prepare for it?

The civics test is an oral examination that evaluates your knowledge of U.S. history and government. You will be asked up to 10 questions from a set list of 100 civics questions, and you need to answer at least six correctly. The USCIS provides study materials, including the list of questions and answers, on their website to help you prepare for the civics test.

What is the process for naturalization after submitting the application?

After submitting your naturalization application (Form N-400), you will receive a notice to attend a biometrics appointment. Following that, you will be scheduled for an interview with a USCIS officer. During the interview, your application, supporting documents, and qualifications will be reviewed. If approved, you will take the Oath of Allegiance at a later ceremony and receive your Certificate of Naturalization.

Can I apply for naturalization if I have a criminal record?

Having a criminal record does not automatically disqualify you from naturalization. However, certain criminal convictions, especially for serious offenses, may impact your eligibility. USCIS considers factors such as the nature of the offense, the sentence imposed, and your overall moral character.

Can I retain my original citizenship when I become a U.S. citizen?

The United States generally permits dual citizenship, so you can typically retain your original citizenship while acquiring American citizenship.


Find a mistake? Write us
Find a mistake? Write us