Naturalization Fact Sheet
Release Date: October 24, 2012
The United States has a long history of welcoming immigrants from all parts of the world. During the last decade, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) welcomed more than 6.6 million naturalized citizens into the fabric of our nation. In fiscal year 2013 through May, approximately 503,104 individuals have been naturalized.
Deciding to become a U.S. citizen can be a very important milestone in an immigrant’s life. Individuals must demonstrate a commitment to the unifying principles that bind us as Americans and, in return, will enjoy many of the rights and privileges that are fundamental to U.S. citizenship.
About the Naturalization Process
In general, an individual age 18 or older seeking to become a citizen of the United States must apply for naturalization by filing an Application for Naturalization, Form N-400. To be eligible for naturalization, an applicant must fulfill certain eligibility requirements set forth in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
These general eligibility requirements specify that the applicant must:
Special naturalization provisions exempt certain applicants from one or more of the general requirements for naturalization. Spouses of U.S. citizens and members of the military constitute the main categories of individuals who are exempt from some of the general requirements for naturalization.
In addition to these naturalization provisions, the INA also provides for the naturalization of children who are under the age of 18.
All persons filing an Application for Naturalization who have submitted a complete application along with all required documents will be scheduled for an interview with a USCIS officer. Those applicants found qualified are scheduled for an oath ceremony before a judge or an officer delegated the authority by the Director of USCIS to administer the Oath of Allegiance.Applicants do not become U.S. citizens until they have taken the Oath.
 Lee, James, 2013. Annual Flow Report-Naturalizations in the United States: 2012. Office of Immigration Statistics, Policy Directorate, U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
For additional information on USCIS and its programs, visit www.uscis.gov.
Last Reviewed/Updated: 06/25/2013