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How do I become a U.S. Citizen?

Pat Malone • July 01, 2020

Step 1: Find out if you qualify to apply. Take our prescreening or check our article on who qualifies.  Are you at least 18 years old? Have you had a green card long enough? Do you need to know English or civics? The Citizenshipworks prescreening will help you understand if you qualify.

Step 2: File your application, documents, and pay the fee. Use your Citizenshipworks account to fill in the application form. It's free. If you need legal help, we can connect you to nonprofit immigration law experts. After you answer the questions and print the form, use our checklist. The checklist tells you what to send with your application. Make a copy of everything you will send. Mail the application packet and the fee to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Click here to learn more about the fee. 

Step 3: Go to your biometrics (fingerprinting) appointment. The USCIS will send you a "Form 797C," with a biometrics appointment.  The appointment is for fingerprints, photographs, and signatures. Bring the Form 797C and your green card to the appointment. The appointment will be at a USCIS "Application Support Center" near you. 

Step 4: Go to your naturalization interview. The USCIS will review your application and give you a test at the interview. They will check if your forms have the right information. The officer can ask about your application and how you got your green card. The interview also has a test for most people. For the test, you must:

  • Answer questions about U.S. history and government.
  • Speak, read, and write basic English.

Some people don't have to take the test, and others have an easier test. For more about the test, click here

Step 5. Take the oath. The final step is to take the "Oath of Allegiance" at a naturalization ceremony. This is a promise to be loyal to the U.S. Constitution and laws. 

COVID-19 Note: Some USCIS offices closed during COVID, so there have been delays and cancellations. Check USCIS notices on what to expect for appointments and ceremonies:

  • If you have to wear a mask
  • If anyone can come with you
  • Other instructions for safety

 

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