If I am Eligible, How Do I Apply for Citizenship?
Once you have been assured that you are eligible for citizenship, there are certain steps to follow when applying.
The form to use for applying for US citizenship is the N-400, which can be downloaded from the US Citizenship and Immigration Services website or obtained from any immigration law office or other immigrant advocacy service.
You should first complete the Eligibility Worksheet found in the Guide for completing the N-400. Individuals who may file the N-400 include:
- Individuals who are at least 18 years old and have been a lawful permanent resident for at least 5 years or three years as a permanent resident based on your marriage to your spouse who has been a US citizen for at least three years. You can apply for naturalization up to 90 days before meeting the continuous residence requirement.
- Those who have served honorably in the US Military and are still in the service or within 6 months after being discharged.
- Those who have also served honorably of the Selected Reserve of the Ready Reserve or in active duty status during a period of hostilities. You need not be present in the US if you are under this status.
Based how long you have been in the US and your age, you have different requirements for taking English testing and a civics test.
Completing this form can be a complicated procedure and you should consider getting assistance from various immigration advocacy groups or through the offices of an immigration attorney if you are using one to apply for naturalization.
Many questions require details about your prior addresses in the US, information about children, your criminal record, time you have spent outside the US and your marital history. You will have to pay a certain fee and file in a particular area.
Knowingly providing false information or concealing a material fact, such as travel to another country or having a criminal record, will result in denial of your application and possible criminal prosecution.