What are the steps to naturalization?

Becoming a naturalized citizen of the U.S. is a process that includes many steps. You must understand these steps and what they entail to ensure you can navigate them with ease. A better understanding also improves the chance of a successful application.

Each person’s journey through the naturalization application process is unique, and circumstances vary according to your family situation, employment, and many other factors. Here are a few key points to keep in mind.

Determine eligibility

Only certain people are eligible to become citizens of the U.S., so you should determine your eligibility status prior to taking the next steps. A person’s age, marital status, and background all factor into eligibility decisions when applying. Filling out the naturalization eligibility worksheet can answer lots of questions regarding your status and whether you will receive approval.

Prepare forms and pay fees

Next, you must fully read and submit form N-400. You may also need to submit backup documentation depending on your situation, as well as relevant fees for application processing. If you are outside the U.S. at the time of filling, submit two passport-style photos along with other documents.

Attend an interview

Some applicants must attend a biometrics appointment, which allows the office to capture your unique physical characteristics to verify your identity. You will also need to attend an interview at a local office in your area. Make sure you take any pertinent information, such as the interview notice.

Take the Oath of Allegiance

Upon approval of your application, you must take an Oath of Allegiance to the U.S. This occurs during the naturalization ceremony, which is the last step in the process. After taking the Oath, you will receive a Certificate of Naturalization.

While mistakes are not common, you should review the certificate for any errors. If you see any, have them corrected right away before leaving the office.