Steps To Become a Legal US Citizen

If you are living in the US but you are not a citizen, you definitely will not be able to enjoy the rights that a legal US citizen has. Becoming a legal US citizen can take from 16 to 18 months on the average.


  • 1

    Check your Eligibility:

    Before applying for US citizenship, you need to establish your eligibility to become a US citizen. In order to be eligible for US citizenship, you;

    - Must be at least 18 years old.
    - Must have been a Permanent Resident for 5 years or more and must not have left United States for a period of over 6 months or longer OR must be married to and living with a US citizen for 3 years or more, must not have left United States for a period of over 6 months or longer and the US citizen you are married to and living with must have been a US citizen for 3 years or more.
    - Must be able to read, write and speak English.
    - Must understand the US government system and must have knowledge of US history.
    - Must have good moral character.
    - Must be willing to defend United States and its constitution if need be.

  • 2

    Submit the Completed N400 form along with Necessary Documents to the Service Centre:

    Fill the N400 form. Make sure you understand all the questions thoroughly. You should take help from a lawyer if necessary.

    For the documents you need to send along with your application, you need to visit the official website of United States Citizenship And Immigration Services (USCIS). Make sure you attach all documents because it may take longer to process your application if you fail to do so. All documents must be in English or should be translated to English.

    Include 2 passport style photographs with your application.

  • 3

    Get Fingerprinted:

    After USCIS staff has finished the initial scrutiny of your application, you will be fingerprinted by a USCIS official. Of course you will receive a notification letter from USCIS ahead of time, stating the time and place where you will be fingerprinted.

  • 4


    You will have to appear for an interview about which USCIS will inform you ahead of time in the form of a mail notice.

    When going for the interview, remember to take along your Permanent Residence card and your passport (valid or expired).

    In the interview, you will be asked several questions by a USCIS official. Majority of the questions will be from the N400 form that you had submitted earlier while some questions will be related to your personal background.

  • 5

    Receive a Decision:

    USCIS will send you an N-652 form. It will give you information about the result of your interview. Based on the interview, USCIS will either grant or reject you citizenship status.

  • 6

    Take Oath of Allegiance:

    If your application is approved by USCIS, you will be required to take an oath of allegiance to the United States. Once you have taken the oath, you have become a legal US citizen.

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