How Do You Apply for American Citizenship?


Quick Answer

Apply to become a U.S. citizen by submitting a completed application for naturalization to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services regional office and completing the required interview, advises U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. If the application is accepted, individuals must take the Oath of Allegiance to become full citizens.

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Full Answer

Eligibility requirements for applying for U.S. citizenship include being at least 18 years old and a permanent resident of the United States for at least five years, states Nolo. Individuals must have been physically in the country for at least half of the previous five years and not have a primary home in another country. Additional requirements include the ability to speak, read and write English and being of good moral character.

After submitting the naturalization application along with passport photos, a copy of a valid green card and the required fees, applicants receive appointments to be fingerprinted and interviewed. As of 2015, the filing fee for the naturalization application is $595, and the biometrics, or fingerprinting, fee is $85, according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

During the interview, applicants are tested on their English language skills and knowledge of U.S. government and history, explains Nolo. Following the interview, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services decides whether to approve or deny the application. If the office needs further information and documentation to make a decision, the application is continued until the information is received and reviewed. It may also be continued if the applicant fails the English or history test the first time.

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