For most individuals seeking naturalization, the main form to use is the N-400, which can be obtained either online from the US Citizenship and Naturalization (USCIS) website or from any immigration advocacy group or immigration law office.
Before filling out the form, there is a section or worksheet to determine if you meet all the eligibility requirements called A Guide to Naturalization, or Form M-476, which can also be downloaded from the USCIS website or by calling the USCIS customer service center.
If you complete the worksheet and it appears you are eligible, you may still want to confirm this by meeting with an immigration advocate or attorney. You do not want to submit the Form N-400 if you do not meet the eligibility requirements or have falsified information.
Do I Get to Use Form N-400?
This form is to be used only if you are at least 18 years of age and have been a lawful permanent resident for at least 5 years.
If you have been married for at least 3 years to a US citizen, who has been naturalized for 3 years, and you have been in the US for at least as long, you may use this form.
US military personnel with at least one year in the military, or been honorably discharged and are filing more than 6 months after discharge from service may also file.
There are other groups who are US nationals and have become residents of any state who may also file this form. These groups include those individuals who have worked for certain American firms engaged in foreign trade and commerce for the US, or who worked for pubic international organizations.
In most of these cases, you must demonstrate continuous residence in the US, meaning that you must not have not left this country for more than 6 months at any one time unless you were in the military.
Other Required Information
Form N-400 is a comprehensive application that asks for detailed information about your addresses, proof of residency, marital history, criminal record, and information about your children.
Even if you have been convicted or a crime, it may only present a temporary bar to naturalization. Should you have had a conviction or arrest expunged, this still must be disclosed on the form or at least at your interview. Traffic violations that were not drug or alcohol related and did not involve an arrest need not be disclosed.
Depending on your age and time in the US, you may have to take an English test and will have to pass a civics test regarding your knowledge of basic US history and government.