USA citizenship application process

If you have been legally resident in the U.S. for several years, you can apply for naturalization and obtain a cherished U.S. citizenship.

Table of contents

Citizenship has several advantages over residency. Here are just a few of them:

Here's how to go through the naturalization process step by step.

USA citizenship requirements

You can apply for American citizenship if you meet the following conditions:

U.S. Naturalization process

The process of obtaining U.S. citizenship takes four steps:

Step 1: Applying for U.S. citizenship. Applicants submit Form N-400 to Citizenship and Immigration Services. The US citizenship application form must be accompanied by the following papers:

The photo is a 2x2 inch one:

USA citizenship photo

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Step 2: Criminal Background Check. This requires applicants to be fingerprinted at one of the Application Support Centers.

Step 3: Interview. The Immigration Service will schedule a naturalization interview. During the interview, the Citizenship and Immigration Services officer will check your ID and ask questions under oath about your background, where you have lived and how long you have been in the country, your moral character, your commitment to the Constitution, and your willingness to take the oath of allegiance to the United States. The officer will give you a test of your knowledge of American history, civics, and English language skills.

Step 4: The Pledge of Allegiance to the United States. If Citizenship and Immigration Services approves your application for naturalization, you must attend a ceremony to take the United States Oath of Allegiance. As a result, the applicant is issued the Naturalization certificate allowing to apply for an American passport and other internal documents of the country.

U.S. citizenship test: what to expect?

The test consists of two parts: a test of English and knowledge of American history and government. The second part is the most difficult part of the citizenship test, and you must prepare for it well in advance.

All of the questions and answers for this test are publicly available on the USCIS website, and there are also video and audio materials for preparation. Questions are asked only from this list, no unexpected topics may be given. The immigration officer selects only 20 of the 128 questions. To successfully pass the test, you must answer correctly to 12. As soon as you have the right number of answers, the exam is stopped and the remaining questions are not asked.

The questions are divided into three large topic groups: American government, American history (geography), and civics. They are asked in English, and no answer choices are offered. Most are simple, but some require prior preparation, especially those related to U.S. history. In certain cases there may be more than one correct answer, then you have to name as many as are asked in the question.

In which case can you be denied naturalization?

This is what can prevent you from obtaining U.S. citizenship:

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