Naturalization is the process through which someone is granted U.S. citizenship after they satisfy certain requirements.
The first step in the naturalization process is to file the Form N-400 with USCIS. The N-400 is also known as the Application for Naturalization. This is the form used to apply for naturalization.
The N-400 can be filed online or you can print out a physically copy of the form and mail it to USCIS.
Before you file you N-400, you should make sure that you satisfy all of the naturalization requirements:
- Must be at least 18 years old
- Must be a U.S. lawful permanent resident
- Must have continuously resided in the United States as a permanent resident for the last 5 years (or 3 years in certain cases where you are married to a U.S. citizen)
- Must have resided in the same state for at least 3 months
- Must have been physically present in the U.S. as a permanent resident for at least half of the time over the last 5-year period (or 3-year period in certain cases where you are married to a U.S. citizen)
- Must demonstrate that you have been a person of good moral character over the last 5-year period (or 3-year period in certain cases where you are married to a U.S. citizen)
- Must demonstrate that you have an understanding of the English language
- Must take an exam to demonstrate that you have a basic knowledge of the form of government in the U.S. as well as U.S. history.
- Must take an oath that you will support and defend the U.S. constitution
Documentation to Provide with N-400
Assuming you satisfy the naturalization requirements, another important task is to make sure that you include the correct documents along with your naturalization application.
Each case is different and the correct documents to include with your application will depend on your particular situation. If you need any help determining which documents to include with your application, feel free to email me directly at Michael@AshooriLaw.com.
With that said, here are some of the documents that you may need to include with your application:
- 2 passport photos
- Copy of your green card
- Copy of your marriage certificate or divorce decree (if applicable)
Another very important aspect of the N-400 is the filing fee. It is very important to make sure that you submit the correct filing fee with your application, otherwise USCIS will likely reject your application.
At the time that this guide is being published, the naturalization filing fee is $640. Applicants under the age of 75 are also required to pay a biometric services fee of $75. So, the total naturalization fee is $75.
Naturalization Processing Time
The processing time for the Form N-400 is typically between 8-14 months. The average processing time for a naturalization application depends on your city and state of residence (where your naturalization application is filed)