How to Apply for U.S. Citizenship? (Updated 2021)
Applying for citizenship is US green card holder apply, take an exam and take an oath to become a U.S. citizen.
Is it your dream to go to the USA – the land of dreams? Do you want to learn about US citizenship applications? In this article, you will learn the simple steps on how you can become a U.S. citizen.
Well, you can apply for US citizenship by filling up this form file Form N-400, with the USCIS (the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services).
You need to meet specific eligibility requirements for the neutralization process. The requirements include:
- You should be 18 years or above.
- You have to be a Green Card holder for at least five years.
- In the case of being married to a U.S. citizen, you need to be a Green Card holder for a minimum 3 years, along with other requirements. We will discuss these requirements later in this article.
The Naturalization Process
The naturalization process includes the following steps: Here are the steps to become a US citizen.
- First, determine your eligibility whether you can become a U.S. citizen.
- Complete the application form mentioned above for naturalization, apply for US citizenship.
- Take the U.S. citizenship exam 100 questions for citizenship, and have a personal interview.
- Applying for citizenship N-400 can benefit you in some ways. For instance, as a citizen, you can apply for your parents to come to the United States and apply for their green card to citizenship.
- Even if you have been overseas for over one year, being a citizen, your cancelation will not take place.
What Supporting Documents do I Require to attain U.S Citizenship? citizenship checklist:
- You need to submit proof of your permanent resident status. In addition, you should submit a photocopy of your green card (permanent resident card).
- Secondly, submit a photocopy of both sides of your Permanent Resident Card. If you have lost the card, you have another option to submit a photocopy of the Form 1-90 receipt. It can replace Permanent Resident Card.
- You must submit your application fee by personal check, or money order. Moreover, you have to offer a biometric service fee.
- Another thing you will submit is proof of your Identity. It must include identical color 2 U.S passport-style photos (2 inches by 2 inches), with your name and Alien Registration.
2.Proof of Your Previous and Current Marital Status
You need to submit copies of your current and prior certificates.
- Marriage certificates
- Divorce certificates
- Death certificates
3.Proof of your Military Service(if applicable)
Suppose you apply based on your qualifying military service. In that case, you must include Form N-426, a request for Certification of Military or Naval Service.
4.Medical Disability Proof (if you have any issues)
You may request an exemption from the citizenship test on account of a qualifying medical condition. In that case, you must include Form N-648, i.e., Medical Certification for Disability Exceptions.
5.Fee-Reduction Application Request
If you would like to request for reduction of the application fee, you must submit Form 1-942.
6.Naturalization based on Marriage to a U.S. Citizen
For applying to get citizenship through marriage to a U.S. citizen, you should submit the below-mentioned documents.
- A piece of evidence that your spouse has been a U.S. citizen for the last 3 years.
- Their birth certificate or passport is mandatory
- Your current marriage certificate is essential
7.Evidence from Law Enforcement Agency
If you have been arrested before or held up by any law enforcement agency on account of any reason, you need to submit an original official statement issued by the arresting agency or applicant court confirming.
Establish Citizenship If you don’t have a Birth Certificate
Suppose you were born in the U.S., but you do not have any certificate or evidence. In that case, you need other different documents to give proof of your Citizenship.
- You need a letter from the Vital Records Office in your Birth State. It should have details of your name and what years they looked for your birth certificate.
- You need a letter of No Record from the Vital Records Office. Additionally, you need Secondary Evidence of application for US Citizenship to prove that you were born in the United States.
If you were born in any country outside of the U.S. and your birth is not registered at U.S Embassy or consulate, you may still apply for a U.S. passport, but you need the following documents in this regard:
- Record of your birth with your parents’ name
- Evidence of Citizenship of your parents
- Marriage certificate of your parents
U.S. Citizenship for People who are Born Abroad or in U.S. territories
You are considered a U.S. citizen on the following conditions:
- If your birth certificate is issued by a U.S. state
- You were born in a U.S. territory, and you have a birth certificate issued by that particular territory.
- Suppose you do not possess a birth certificate from your birth territory. In that case, you have the option to verify your citizenship status using other documents.
The Process to Apply for Citizenship N400 Application
Now, let’s discuss the steps that you need to follow to apply for citizenship N400 application.
1) N-400 Form
Submit N-400 application form for citizenship
What should I submit with N-400?
You need to submit the N-400 form with a photocopy of Green Card citizenship and application fee.
How much does the N-400 application cost?
The application fee cost is $725, if 75 years of age or older, the application fee cost is $640.
How long does it take to become a US citizen with a green card?
Generally, you can become a citizen in 5 years with a green card. If you get a green card through marriage green card, from marrying a US citizen, you can become a citizen in 3 years with a green card. If you are an active soldier, you may apply for citizenship right away with a green card. Checklist for N-400 Application
When can I apply for citizenship if I am married to a US citizen?
if married to a US citizen and get a green card through marriage green card, green card holders can apply for citizenship in 2 years and 9 months.
You are required to submit the following with your application:
Fill n-400 form
- Make payment for $725.00 through check or money order
- Copy of green card from both side
- More documents to attach
- In case of being married, you are asked to submit a copy of your marriage certificate.
- Being an active soldier or retried one, you need to attach supporting documents.
- If you are serving in the army currently, you need to submit the in-service military service certificate N-426.
- In case of being retired, you can submit a retirement certificate.
Further Information to include?
If you have any criminal record, you have to attach a certified copy of a criminal record that should be attested with an official law enforcement agency.
If you are a Green Card holder and apply for citizenship, you are not allowed to leave the U.S for more than 6 months at a time in the course of the past 5 years.
Suppose you apply for citizenship and your spouse is a government official worker overseas. In that case, you have to submit a certificate of the green card holder’s spouse and two passports overseas, along with 2 passport size photos of the green cardholder.
2) USCIS Interview and Examination
How long does it usually take to get citizenship after applying?
It usually takes 6-12 months after submission of citizenship application form N-400.
Naturalization Interview Process
During the interview, a USCIS officer will ask you details related to your application, background, and test for citizenship ask 100 questions for citizenship.
- You should bring the following checklist to the USCIS office for applying for a citizenship N-400 interview.
- 1-797 notice of interview
- Identity documents, including driver’s license or government-issued photo identification documents
- Original Green Card
- Proof of marriage or divorce like marriage certificate, divorce judgment, etc.
- Passports and travel documents. You need to bring all keys and documents that you ever owned despite being expired.
Applying for U.S. citizenship N-400 Citizenship Examination Section:
- After qualifying for an exemption, you will also go through a naturalization test based on two components, an English and civics test.
- In the English test, you need to show your understanding of the English language, including writing, reading, and speaking English.
- The Civics test includes important questions about the American government and history that you need to answer.
You can get exemption from the English examination test:
- If you are 55 years or older and have a Green Card for 15 years or 50 years
- In case of having any health concerns, if you are unable to speak, read and write, you can apply for exemption, but you must have a medical certificate.
1) Oath and Certificate of Citizenship
You will affirm your allegiance to the United States at the oath ceremony and get your naturalization certificate. After receiving this certificate, you are eligible to apply for a U.S passport. In addition, you will be likely to vote in national, state, and local elections.
What do I need to bring with me?
- You need to bring Form N-445, Notice of Naturalization Oath Ceremony, which you will receive, either at the end of your interview or through the mail later.
- You need to bring your Permanent Resident Card. (If you forgot to get one, you have the option to submit it before you attain your naturalization certificate.)
- Immigration documents if you have.
- Any additional documents requested by USCIS.
Citizenship through parents in the U.S.
The authorities offer two general ways to attain Citizenship through U.S. citizen parents at birth and after birth, but the age limit is before 18 years. Congress has implemented laws that how U.S citizen parents devolve citizenship to their children born outside of the U.S.
Immigration Lawyer for Citizenship
The process to get U.S. citizenship is through the naturalization process that requires you to file USCIS forms, including Form N-400 that you can submit online. However, some individuals hire a lawyer or Executive officer for Immigration Review (EOIR) that is accredited, representative.
How long does it take to get Citizenship after the interview?
After the interview, it usually takes about 6-10 months for the USCIS (U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services) to process and approve or reject the application. It depends on how faster you send your N-400 Form and other supporting documents.
When can I apply for Citizenship?
You may fill the Form N-400 Application for naturalization before 90 calendar days of completing your permanent residence requirement if you are eligible as a permanent resident for at least five years. In case of being married to a U.S. citizen, then a permanent resident for 3 years is required.
How much does it cost to apply for Citizenship?
The current status of the naturalization fee for a U.S citizenship application is $725. It is distributed for $640 for application processing and $85 for biometrics services. The cost is, however, not refundable unless the U.S. government approves or rejects the application.
The process to apply for U.S citizenship is not that complicated as it may seem. It becomes easier if you meet all the requirements. So, utilize the Information in this article for your practical experience. It will make it easy for you to go through the process easier if you take professional help.
TIPS: Real case sharing
5 years of green card holder apply for citizenship, John is a green card holder and has held a green card for more than 5 years
June 2020, submit the apply citizenship application N-400 form;
July 2020, received the USCIS I-797 receipt;
December 2020, fingerprinting in USCIS local offices ;
April 2021, received interview notice;
May 2021, passed the interview in USCIS offices;
June 2021, take the oath to become a citizen and obtain a citizenship certificate.