Official Website of the United States Department of Homeland Security

Citizenship Through Naturalization

Naturalization is the process by which U.S. citizenship is granted to a foreign citizen or national after he or she fulfills the requirements established by Congress in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). 

For more information, see USCIS Policy Manual Citizenship and Naturalization Guidance.

How to Apply for Naturalization

To apply for naturalization, file Form N-400, Application for Naturalization.

For more information, see our How Do I Apply for Citizenship? guide. We also provide educational materials to help you prepare for the English, U.S. history and civics portions of the naturalization test, including:

For more test information visit our Naturalization Test page.

If you are in the military and are interested in becoming a U.S. citizen, please see the M-599, Naturalization Information for Military guide.

You May Qualify for Naturalization if:

  • You have been a permanent resident for at least 5 years and meet all other eligibility requirements, please visit our Path to Citizenship page for more information. 
  • You have been a permanent resident for 3 years or more and meet all eligibility requirements to file as a spouse of a U.S. citizen, please visit our Naturalization for Spouses of U.S. Citizens page for more information.
  • You have qualifying service in the U.S. armed forces and meet all other eligibility requirements. Visit the Military section of our website.
  • Your child may qualify for naturalization if you are a U.S. citizen, the child was born outside the U.S., the child is currently residing outside the U.S., and all other eligibility requirements are met. Visit our Citizenship Through Parents page for more information.

You may qualify through other paths to naturalization if you do not qualify through the paths described in the links to the left. See also the USCIS Policy Manual Citizenship and Naturalization Guidance and our A Guide to Naturalization guide. Chapter 4 of the guide discusses who is eligible for naturalization.

Note: You may already be a U.S. citizen and not need to apply for naturalization if your biological or adoptive parent(s) became a U.S. citizen before you reached the age of 18. For more information, visit our Citizenship Through Parents page.

Last Reviewed/Updated: 01/22/2013