Application for US Citizenship

  • $500 + Immigration Fee

Simplifying the US Citizenship Process for Adults

The path to becoming a U.S. citizen through naturalization is a significant journey involving several crucial steps, from the initial application for citizenship to taking the Oath of Allegiance. This article aims to simplify the complex process by breaking down the key stages.

Eligibility Criteria for US Citizenship Application

  • Age and Residency Requirements:
    • Must be at least 18 years old.
    • Continuous residence in the U.S. for at least five years (or three if married to a U.S. citizen).
    • Physical presence in the U.S. for at least half of the continuous residence period.
    • Residency in the state or USCIS district where applying for at least three months before applying.
  • Character and Civic Knowledge:
    • Demonstrate good moral character, including not committing certain crimes or lying to a USCIS officer.
    • Passing an English language test and a civics test on U.S. history and government.
    • Male applicants aged 18 to 26 must register for Selective Service.
  • Oath of Allegiance: Must demonstrate an attachment to the U.S. Constitution and be willing to take the Oath of Allegiance at a public ceremony.

Certain applicants may be exempt from the English and civics tests based on age or disability, and members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their children might have alternative paths to citizenship. It's advisable to use the Naturalization Eligibility Tool to determine your specific eligibility before proceeding with the application.

Preparing and Submitting the Naturalization Application (Form N-400)

To embark on the journey of becoming a U.S. citizen through naturalization, the Form N-400, Application for Naturalization, is your starting point. Here’s a straightforward guide to preparing and submitting this crucial form:

Filling Out Form N-400
  • Options: Choose to fill out the form online or on paper. Online submission is encouraged for its convenience and efficiency.
  • Early Filing: You can submit Form N-400 up to 90 days before you meet the continuous residence requirement.
Required Documents
  • Identification: Your LPR card (Green Card).
  • Health: Form N-648, if claiming a medical disability exemption.
  • Marital Status: Documents proving your current marital status and history.
  • Moral Character: Evidence of good moral character, including criminal records or statements of good conduct.
  • Residence and Presence: Documents proving continuous residence and physical presence in the U.S.
  • Selective Service: For male applicants aged 18 to 26, proof of Selective Service registration.
  • Spouse of U.S. Citizen: If applicable, documents proving your spouse’s citizenship.
Submission and Fees
  • Process: Complete the application accurately, sign it, and attach all required documents. If residing outside the U.S., adhere to photograph requirements.
  • Fees: As of April 1, 2024, ensure to include the new filing fee with your application. Fees can be paid online. The fee can be found at USCIS Fee Schedule.
  • Note that military applicants and those aged 75 and older may be exempt from certain fees.
  • After Submission: You will receive a receipt notice. Keep track of your case status online. A biometrics appointment might follow, which is necessary for the completion of your application process.

This step is pivotal in your journey towards U.S. citizenship, setting the foundation for the subsequent steps, including the biometrics appointment, citizenship interview, and the final Oath of Allegiance.

The Naturalization Interview and Citizenship Test

The naturalization interview and citizenship test are pivotal steps in securing US citizenship, conducted by a USCIS officer to evaluate your application and background. Here’s what to expect and how to prepare:

  • Before the Interview:
    • Arrive 30 minutes early.
    • Dress in business casual attire.
    • Bring all original documents, including your Permanent Resident Card.
  • During the Interview:
    • English Test: Assessing speaking, reading, and writing skills. You'll need to read and write one out of three sentences correctly.
    • Civics Test: An oral exam with up to 10 questions from a list of 100. Passing requires six correct answers. Those exempt from English requirements due to age or residency duration may take the civics test in their preferred language.
  • After the Interview:
    • You’ll receive a notice detailing your interview and exam results. If any part of the test is failed, a retest is scheduled between 60 and 90 days from the initial interview.

Preparation Tips:

  • Utilize resources like civics flash cards, interactive practice tests, and study booklets available from USCIS.
  • Engage with video and audio materials for better comprehension.
  • Practice English with proficient friends or family members and take USCIS practice tests.
  • Group study topics for efficient memorization.

Remember, exceptions and accommodations are available for those who require them. Start your preparation early to ensure success in achieving naturalized citizen status.

Taking the Oath of Allegiance

Taking the Oath of Allegiance is the final, mandatory step in your journey to U.S. citizenship. This solemn ceremony is where you'll pledge your allegiance to the United States, renouncing all ties to other sovereign states. Here's what you need to know:

  • Before the Ceremony: You will receive a Form N-445, detailing the date, time, and location. If you're unable to attend, request a reschedule promptly. Missing the ceremony more than once may lead to denial of your citizenship application.
  • During the Ceremony:
    • Check in at the designated USCIS field office.
    • Review and answer questions on Form N-445.
    • Surrender your Permanent Resident Card and any USCIS-issued travel documents.
    • Recite the Oath of Allegiance, which includes:
      • Renouncing allegiance to any foreign entities.
      • Supporting and defending the Constitution and laws of the U.S.
      • Bearing arms, performing noncombatant service, or doing work of national importance when required by law.
  • After the ceremony, you become a full U.S. citizen and receive your Certificate of Naturalization. This document is your proof of citizenship. Ensure all details are correct before leaving. Now, you can enjoy all the rights and privileges of citizenship, including voting, applying for a U.S. passport, and sponsoring family members for immigration. Remember to update your Social Security record and register to vote.


This article has demystified the complex citizenship process, providing a comprehensive guide that illuminates the significant milestones involved in becoming a naturalized U.S. citizen.


  • What is the simplest method to obtain U.S. citizenship? The most straightforward path is through birth within the United States or its territories.
  • Why is it so challenging to become a U.S. citizen? The complexity of the citizenship process in the U.S. is attributed to several factors, including lengthy processing times, high financial and personal costs, and the intricate requirements set by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Additionally, many immigrants lack a direct U.S. citizen relative, further complicating their path to citizenship.
  • What is the toughest aspect of the U.S. citizenship application process? The application fee presents the biggest hurdle for many applicants.
  • Who is exempt from taking the U.S. citizenship test based on age? Individuals who are 55 years old or older and have lived in the U.S. as permanent residents for at least 15 years.

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