your roadmap to citizenship
Applying for citizenship
is easier than you think.
Congratulations on beginning your journey! Our roadmap will guide you through the citizenship process, step by step. Click on the learn more button on each step below for more detailed information.
learn about citizenship process and requirements
First, you need to figure out if you’re eligible to become a U.S. citizen. You must have had your permanent resident card for at least five years (or three years if married to a U.S. citizen). You must meet a number of other requirements, including the ability to speak English. Some criminal convictions may make you ineligible to apply. You should seek advice from an accredited nonprofit legal services organization or a trusted immigration attorney before applying for citizenship.
Then you’ll need to begin gathering some important documents, starting with your permanent resident card. Some people will need to obtain additional documents. If you have EVER been arrested, you should obtain your certified court disposition for every arrest. If you have ever been detained at the border, deported, or ordered deported, you should obtain your full immigration record. An immigration attorney or a nonprofit legal services provider should review any criminal issues or immigration violations.
apply for naturalization
To formally apply for citizenship, you must complete and send form N-400, and a check or money order for the $725 filing fee. If you are low-income, you may not have to pay the filing fee, but you’ll need to submit form I-912 with your N-400 to prove you meet income eligibility. There are trustworthy organizations who can help you fill out these forms at no cost or low cost.
study for your naturalization interview
It will take anywhere from 3-6 months from the time you mail in your application until you are called for an interview. At your interview, the USCIS officer will ask you questions about your application in English, and test you briefly on U.S. history and civics. Depending on your age and how long you’ve had your green card, you may be eligible to do the interview and test in your own language, but most people will be required to do it in English. Find a local English or citizenship class, or study the list of questions independently.
register to vote
Voting is a right and a privilege that only belongs to U.S. citizens! Make your voice heard in national and local elections. You may even be able to fill out a ballot in your own language!