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Naturalization: What to expect

Naturalization is a way for a person to become a U.S. citizen. Below is a general overview of what to expect during the naturalization process. To learn more, read the Guide to Naturalization.

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1 Complete your application

You have decided to apply for U.S. citizenship. Here is what to do next:

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2 Appear for your biometrics appointment

After we accept your application, we will notify you if we need to take your biometrics: fingerprints, photo, and signature.

  • We will send you an appointment notice if we need biometrics. The notice will provide you the date, time, and location of the appointment.

  • Appear at the location at the scheduled date and time on the appointment notice

  • Bring the following documents to the appointment:

    • Form I-551, Permanent Resident Card;

    • Appointment notice; and

    • A second form of identification (driver’s license, passport, or state identification card). Your second form of identification must have your photograph on it.

  • We will send your fingerprints to the FBI to conduct a background check

  • At your appointment, we will give you a study booklet to help you prepare for the English and civics tests

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3 Prepare for your Naturalization Interview

During your naturalization interview, a USCIS officer will ask you questions about your application and background. You will also take an English and civics test unless you qualify for an exemption or waiver. The English test has three components: reading, writing, and speaking. The civics test covers important U.S. history and government topics. See below to learn more about the test and the free study tools available to help you prepare.

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4 Attend your naturalization interview
  • Appear at the USCIS office at the scheduled date and time on your interview notice

  • Bring the following documentation to your naturalization interview:

    • Your interview appointment notice;

    • Form I-551, Permanent Resident Card;

    • A state-issued identification such as a driver’s license; and

    • All valid and expired passports and travel documents issued to you that document your absences from the United States since becoming a permanent resident.

    • For a list of other documents that you may need to bring with you, read Form M-477, Document Checklist.

  • Take the English and civics tests

  • We will inform you of the results

  • If requested, submit additional information to USCIS

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5 Take the oath

Once you have successfully completed your interview and your application has been approved, we will schedule you to take the Oath of Allegiance. You are not a U.S. citizen until you take the Oath of Allegiance at a naturalization ceremony.

  • Receive a notice for the oath ceremony

  • Arrive at the ceremony and check in with USCIS

  • We will collect your Permanent Resident Card

  • A USCIS officer will review your responses to the questionnaire on Form N-445 when you arrive at the ceremony.

  • Take the Oath of Allegiance

  • Receive your Certificate of Naturalization

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6 Get Involved

Once you are a U.S. citizen, you can enjoy expanded rights and responsibilities. Celebrate your citizenship and share your story!