Become a U.S. Citizen Through Naturalization
Naturalization is the process to become a U.S. citizen if you were born outside of the United States. If you meet certain requirements, you may become a U.S. citizen either at birth or after birth.
To apply for naturalization to become a U.S. citizen, you must:
- Be at least 18 years of age at the time you file the application;
- Have been a lawful permanent resident for the past three or five years (depending on which naturalization category you are applying under);
- Have continuous residence and physical presence in the United States;
- Be able to read, write, and speak basic English;
- Demonstrate good moral character;
- Demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of U.S. history and government;
- Demonstrate a loyalty to the principles of the U.S. Constitution; and
- Be willing to take the Oath of Allegiance.
For detailed information and exceptions, including special provisions for those who have served in the U.S. military, please see Naturalization through Military Service.
How to File
You may apply for naturalization online or by paper.
Create a USCIS online account to file online and:
- Submit evidence and pay fees electronically;
- Receive case status updates about your case and see complete case history;
- Communicate with us securely and directly; and
- Respond to requests for evidence.
If you already have a USCIS online account, sign into your account to get started.
File by Paper
- Read the instructions for Form N-400, Application for Naturalization;
- Complete and sign your Form N-400;
- Pay the filing fee, if applicable; and
- Provide all required evidence and supporting documentation.
Want status updates about your case? Learn how to create a USCIS online account to stay informed.
After You File
Once we receive your Form N-400, you will receive a:
- Receipt notice confirming we received your application;
- Biometric services notice, if applicable;
- Notice to appear for an interview, if required; and
- Notice of our decision.